Although we see babies with all types of health problems, until recently it has been relatively rare for us to take in a baby with congenital syphilis. However, in the past year we have seen multiple cases of this and wanted to explain what it is and how it is treated in the babies in our care.
Syphilis is of course a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum and is on the rise in many countries around the world. If a woman contracts syphilis during her pregnancy, then there is a 60-80% chance she will pass the disease to her unborn child if she does not receive treatment. Sadly, untreated syphilis in pregnant women results in infant death in up to 40 percent of cases. Read more.