U.S. syphilis cases surged 80% between 2018 and 2022, with congenital syphilis cases nearly tripling to 3,755, over 10 times the number in 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Jan 30. The Department of Health and Human Services recently established a federal task force to address the issue and plans to host a roundtable for health care providers in February.

“In the United States, syphilis was close to elimination in the 1990s, so we know it’s possible to reverse this epidemic,” said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “I have hope for innovative prevention tools — such as a pill after sex that prevents STIs, and better tests for syphilis — but they will only be successful if they reach the people who will benefit. And that is going to require coordinated and sustained efforts at the federal, state, and local levels.”

Untreated syphilis can seriously damage the heart and brain and cause blindness, deafness and paralysis. When transmitted during pregnancy, syphilis can cause miscarriage, lifelong medical issues and infant death.

Related News Articles

Hospitals and health systems added 16,300 jobs in May, while U.S. jobs overall increased by 390,000, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor…
The AHA, California Hospital Association, and Washington State Hospital Association today urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to reverse a…
U.S. life expectancy rose by 0.1 year in 2018 to 78.7, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last week. Among specific improvements, the…