1,306 U.S. Infants Were Born with Syphilis in 2018, Even Though It’s Easy to Prevent

October 8, 2019

(Los Angeles Times) – One of the nation’s most preventable diseases is killing newborns in ever-increasing numbers. Nationwide, 1,306 infants acquired syphilis from their mother in 2018, a 40% rise over 2017, according to federal data released Tuesday. Seventy-eight of those babies were stillborn, and 16 died after birth. In California, cases of congenital syphilis — the term used when the infection is passed to a baby during pregnancy — continued a stark 7-year climb. There were 332 cases in the state in 2018, an 18.1% increase from 2017, the data show.