Brazil records 12,000 congenital syphilis cases in first half of 2022


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The Brazilian Ministry of Health Reports recorded 79,587 cases of syphilis, 31,090 cases of syphilis in pregnant women, and 12014 cases of congenital syphilis in the country until June 2022.

Photo / CDC

This is broadly in line with 2021 when more than 167,000 new cases of syphilis were recorded in Brazil, with a detection rate of 78.5 cases per group of 100,000 inhabitants; 74,000 cases in pregnant women, 27,000 cases of congenital syphilis, a rate of 9.9 in children under one year of age per 1,000 live births; And 192 deaths from congenital syphilis, at a rate of 7.0 per 100,000 live births.

Syphilis appears in the primary, secondary, latent and tertiary stages. In the primary and secondary stages, the possibility of transmission of infection is greater through sexual contact with an infected person. The most dangerous cases of acquired syphilis are observed in the third stage, because if there is no adequate treatment, serious complications can appear, such as skin, bone, cardiovascular and neurological lesions, which can lead to death. At all stages, syphilis can be transmitted to a child during pregnancy or childbirth.

Congenital syphilis can have serious consequences for the baby, such as deafness, blindness, bone changes and mental impairment, which can lead to death. Therefore, every pregnant woman should be tested at the first prenatal consultation (ideally, in the first trimester of pregnancy); At the beginning of the third trimester (the twenty-eighth week); At the time of delivery, or in the case of miscarriage/stillbirth, regardless of previous examinations.

A rapid syphilis test is available at SUS Health Services, and is practical and easy to perform, with the result reading in a maximum of 30 minutes, without the need for a laboratory structure. In 2022, through September, 9.5 million rapid tests were distributed to all states and the Federal District. The number exceeds the number of deliveries made in the whole of 2021, which was 9.03 million.

“The rate of testing has increased, which makes it possible to expand the scope of diagnosis of the disease, especially among pregnant women, as well as to provide timely treatment,” notes Angelica Espinosa Miranda, General Coordinator of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance. in the Ministry of Health.

According to the ministry, to prevent syphilis, it is necessary to use a male or female condom. It is the only way to avoid disease. In 2022 alone, Brazil distributed 293.9 million males and 4.5 million females to 26 states and the Federal District.

Syphilis is treated with antibiotics found in basic health units. In the case of a pregnant woman, due to the risk of transmitting the infection to the fetus, treatment should begin only with a positive test, without the need to wait for the result of the second test.

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A syphilis infection can put both the adult and the baby at risk during pregnancy. Therefore, monitoring and testing of pregnant women and their sexual partners during prenatal care is recommended for the prevention of congenital syphilis.

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