CDC: Maternal syphilis rates triple over six years

Syphilis infections during pregnancy more than tripled between 2016 and 2022 to 280 cases per 100,000 births, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Feb. 13. The rates ranged from 46 per 100,000 in Maine to 763 per 100,000 in South Dakota. Rates doubled in seven states and grew fivefold in six states: New Mexico, Colorado, Mississippi, South Dakota, Montana and Alaska. Infections increased across all racial/ethnic and age groups, with the highest rates in mothers who were American Indian and Alaska Native, under age 25 and who had no prenatal care. A recent CDC report found more than 3,700 mothers transmitted syphilis to their babies in 2022 ─ 10 times more than in 2012. Timely testing and treatment can prevent most transmitted infections. (CDC databrief, 2/24)