Maine reports first congenital syphilis case in nearly 30 years

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Syphilis rates have been increasing in the United States since 2012. From 2012 through 2021, the incidence of syphilis increased by 224% in the United States and by 405% in Maine.

Photo/US National Atlas

According to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine Center for Disease Control), in 2022, there were 112 reported cases of syphilis in Maine, of which 20.5% were women ages 15-44 (preliminary data).

The Maine CDC recently received notification of a possible case of congenital syphilis (CS). This is the first case of CS reported in a Maine resident in nearly 30 years.

In 2021, there were 2,677 reported cases of rheumatoid arthritis in the United States, an increase of 702% from 2012.

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CS occurs when a pregnant woman with syphilis transmits the infection to her fetus during pregnancy. This can happen during any stage of syphilis and any trimester of pregnancy. The risk of transmission is higher if a pregnant woman has been infected recently. Approximately 40% of babies born to people with untreated syphilis can be stillborn or die from infection in the newborn.

CS can lead to preterm labor and neonatal/childhood illnesses including hydrops fetalis; Enlarged liver and spleen. rash. fever. failure to thrive; Deformation of the face, teeth and bones. blindness. and deafness. Timely and adequate treatment of syphilis in pregnant women is 98% effective in preventing CS. From 2017 to 2021, the majority of missed prevention opportunities among people delivering babies with rheumatoid arthritis in the United States were those who did not receive timely prenatal care or syphilis testing (38% of cases) and those who had To test for syphilis in a timely manner, but there is no suitable treatment for pregnant women. (34% of cases).



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