USA: Health agency concerned about increase in syphilis in babies

USA: Health agency concerned about increase in syphilis in babies

In 2022, more than 3,700 children were born with syphilis in the USA. Nine out of ten cases of this could have been avoided, explains the health authority. In Germany, too, more and more babies are infected at birth.

The US CDC has expressed concern about a sharp increase in cases of syphilis in newborns in the US. Last year, more than 3,700 babies were born with the sexually transmitted disease across the US – more than ten times as many as ten years before. Overall, according to the CDC, cases in the United States are exploding. In Germany, too, specialists are warning of a significant increase.

Syphilis can cause blindness and deafness in children

Syphilis occurs in infants when the mother herself is infected and the disease is not treated for her. Syphilis can cause miscarriages in pregnant women and long-term effects such as blindness and deafness or bone deformities in their children. 90 percent of cases in newborns could have been prevented through testing and treatment of the mother during pregnancy, the CDC emphasized.

The health authority called on doctors to use every opportunity to examine pregnant women for syphilis – for example during emergency treatment or in support programs for drug users.

The number of syphilis cases in the United States has “reached heartbreakingly high levels,” said CDC representative Debra Houry. All age groups are affected by this. Overall, there is a true epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases in the country.

Cases in Germany have increased tenfold since 2000

Sexually transmitted diseases are also on the rise in Germany. According to the President of the German Society for Sexual Health, Norbert Brockmeyer, cases of syphilis alone have increased tenfold since the turn of the millennium, from 800 infections in 2000 to “around 8,300” infections now.

There is also an increase in other sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and C as well as herpes and HPV viruses, Brockmeyer complained in the “Augsburger Allgemeine” on Tuesday. The doctor blamed this on the increasing number of sexual contacts, also through the Internet. What is needed, among other things, is “more education about sexual health in schools” – by “external experts”.

Source: Stern

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