State Reports Disturbing Increase in Babies Born With Syphilis

Mississippi reported a 900 percent increase in babies born with congenital syphilis in the last five years, according to an analysis published Saturday.

Hospitals in Mississippi treated at least 102 cases of congenital syphilis in 2021, compared to just 10 cases in 2016, according to data shared by NBC News. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that passes from mother to child during pregnancy, and is a life-threatening disorder that can sometimes go months without showing symptoms.

Children born with syphilis who go more than three months without treatment can suffer significant complications, NBC noted. The disease can have wide-ranging impacts, including the deformation of bone structure, jaundice, liver and spleen enlargement and significant brain and nerve problems such as blindness and deafness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. . .

The growth in congenital syphilis is not unique to Mississippi. National data from the CDC suggest that the frequency of its diagnosis has doubled from 941 in 2017 to 2,677 in 2021. A majority of children born with syphilis in Mississippi were born to black mothers, NBC noted. (Read more from “State Reports Disturbing Increase in Babies Born With Syphilis” HERE)

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