Arizona Sees Uptick In Newborns With Syphilis


By Harrison Cook

Forty-five Arizona babies were born with syphilis and eight babies have died due to syphilis-related complications in 2018.

"We have seen an increase, and what we've done this year is we did declare an outbreak among women and babies infected with syphilis in our state," said Eugene Livar, MD, interim bureau chief of epidemiology and disease control for the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Babies born with syphilis spend an average of 10 days in the hospital and often experience complications with their joints, skin, eyes, ears and brain.

Since 2015, the monthly average of syphilis cases in Arizona women has increased by 253 percent, and in 2018, 637 women in the state have contracted the disease.

Adults with untreated syphilis suffer from the same complications as babies born with the disease.

"Please remember that STDs can be prevented through using condoms when having any type of sex, reducing the number of partners you have and getting tested and treated for STDs," said Dr. Livar.


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