Syphilis on the Rise: San Diego County Health Officials Urge Expectant Mothers to Get Tested

By Eleanor Harrison Mar27,2024
Health Officials Advise Screening for Syphilis During Pregnancy in San Diego County

San Diego County Healthcare officials are urging pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant to speak with their healthcare provider about getting screened for syphilis. The number of babies born with syphilis in the county has increased to a record 35 cases in 2022, according to new data.

Syphilis is a contagious bacterial infection that can be transmitted through sexual contact or from a mother to her baby during pregnancy, resulting in congenital syphilis. This can lead to serious health issues for the baby, including miscarriage, stillbirth, and even death if left untreated.

Health officials emphasize the importance of testing for syphilis during the first prenatal visit and again during the third trimester. Treatment with antibiotics is available, even during pregnancy. It is crucial for both pregnant women and their sexual partners to get tested and treated if necessary.

Cases of syphilis in women of childbearing age have also increased from 369 in 2021 to 424 cases in 2022. The rate of congenital syphilis has increased by nearly 1,200% since 2013. Syphilis in babies can result in serious complications such as bone abnormalities, severe anemia, enlarged organs, and neurological issues like vision or hearing loss.

County public health centers offer resources for syphilis and other STD testing. It is essential for pregnant women to prioritize their health and the health of their unborn babies by getting tested for syphilis and seeking treatment if needed.

The rise in cases of congenital syphilis in San Diego County is concerning but not unique nationwide. Cases of syphilis, including congenital syphilis, have been on the rise since the early 2000s, with a slight decrease from 2021 to 2022 nationwide.

Health officials urge all pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant to take precautions against contracting syphilis by using condoms during sexual activity and seeking treatment if they suspect they may have been exposed.

In conclusion, it’s crucial for expectant mothers to prioritize their health and that of their unborn babies by getting screened for syphilis at their prenatal visits and seeking treatment if necessary. By doing so, we can work towards reducing the number of cases of congenital syphilis and ensuring that every baby born into this world has a healthy start.

By Eleanor Harrison

As a content writer at, I infuse flavor into words, crafting compelling stories that captivate and inform our audience. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for creativity, I strive to create content that not only engages but also inspires. Whether I'm concocting a savory blog post or whipping up a spicy product description, I pour my heart and soul into every piece I write. Join me on this flavorful journey as we explore the tantalizing world of content creation together.

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