The United States is experiencing a significant increase in congenital syphilis cases, with over 3,700 babies born with the infection in 2022, a tenfold rise since 2012. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes the need for urgent action to combat this trend, which mirrors the broader escalation of sexually transmitted infections nationwide. The CDC reports that nearly 90% of these cases could have been prevented with proper prenatal testing and treatment.
In Wisconsin, the Department of Health Services (DHS) echoes these concerns, noting a 19% increase in syphilis cases from 2021 to 2022, with congenital syphilis cases climbing by 81%. The DHS stresses the importance of regular syphilis screenings for pregnant individuals, recommending tests during the first trimester, after 28 weeks of pregnancy, and at delivery.
Both the CDC and Wisconsin DHS demonstrate the disproportionate impact of syphilis on racial and ethnic minority groups, advocating for tailored prevention strategies to address these disparities. The CDC calls for healthcare providers and public health systems to improve access to care and testing, particularly for communities facing systemic barriers to healthcare.
Primary Sources: CDC, Wisconsin DHS