What is Congenital syphilis?
Congenital syphilis rise is a real disaster for pregnant mothers, as it is a life-threatening & disabling infection among child. Its effects on a newly born child from a pregnant mother (if a pregnant mother is suffering from syphilis) and it effects includes severe neurological impairment, bone and tooth problems, and skin conditions even death in minutes/ days/week after the birth.
What makes things worse is the fact that the mother herself is unaware about the contraction of syphilis as in some cases hardly any signs or symptoms are visible on the body. Thus if that is the case, then the infant that survives may have long-term health issues. Hence, the title says its a silent killer.
Congenital syphilis treatment
The only good news is that it can be cured if detected earlier, or before it makes any unavoidable damage. It can be easily treated with penicillin or another antibiotic.
Currently Congenital syphilis also known as ‘maternal syphilis’ is on a rise particularly in the state California especially in Kern County which has a huge public health problem. The is due to the nature of the disease, as it spreads very quickly. An agricultural & low income region of California, the central valley has observed an unprecedented rise in Congenital syphilis and other STDs even coming in lights when CDC report for the year 2015-16 was out. Being a low income swath of California people don’t respond that swiftly for STD testing. Also, the nature of Syphilis is contributing to rapid spread of the disease in the region.
People may lose access to reproductive health care as the uncertainty over the Affordable Care Act with the present government in US. Thus, this problem may worsen if the health care coverage go away and things are cut it may lead to multiplication in the number of STD cases.
Stats of syphilis
The 27% rise in case of Syphilis and 6% rise in Congenital syphilis among women in the span of a year last year, the primary data shows the trend continuing into 2016-17 with Syphilis showing rise of 21 percent and congenital syphilis 4 percent. It is the matter of concern especially when the disease was curbed in 2000.
CDC too last year investigated, to put light on the possibilities causing a spike in Syphilis around the nation which includes the roles of poverty, limited health care access, drug factors etc to address the steep rise in Syphilis cases and address the problem by encouraging more testing, treatment and education.
In California around 2/3 of the cases are found in Men having sex with other men, but the number of Syphilis cases in women has gone up 4 times between the ages of 15 and 44 from 2011 to 2015, during the same time the cases of Congenital syphilis has increased threefold.
California is the second highest states where the syphilis in newborn has been reported. It is just behind Louisiana. state. Louisiana has stepped up its response few years back while working with CDC to create awareness about preventive measures, expanding local std testing sites and by mandating syphilis test twice during pregnancy.
Thus it has started declining in the state of Louisiana. Georgia to is working on reducing Congenital syphilis. By helping the people with getting tested free of cost and get tested for HIV. It has even collaborated with night clubs and with health providers around the state to increase testing.
Causes & Prevention of Congenital Syphilis
Although many scientists and doctors could not come to the conclusion on the actual cause of the pre-natal diseases, but it is believe that late prenatal care could be one of the reason.
Change in sexual behavior, including reduction in use of condoms and having multiple partners.
Get tested for STD every 3 months.