The prevalence of STD cases in the state of San Diego, California is at an all time high. It is in fact at its highest for the past two decades.
The number of congenital syphilis has more than doubled for the past four years in the whole country. In California, the increase was at 391%. And although congenital syphilis cases decreased in San Diego for the first time in four years, one case of this type of STD is one too many.
What is congenital syphilis?
When a woman gets infected with syphilis while she is pregnant, congenital syphilis happens. The infection is passed on to the baby through the placenta during pregnancy. The transmission can also happen to the newborn during birth.
Not all patients with congenital syphilis manifest symptoms. But when they do, it shows itself as a copper-colored rash or lesions on the palms, soles of the feet, nose mouth and diaper area during the first three months of life. They might also have blood-stained nasal discharge. Most infants with CS do not thrive or may be intellectually disabled.
Symptoms of latent congenital syphilis include blindness, deafness, enlarged liver, seizures and skeletal abnormalities. If untreated, it can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant death.
How you can protect yourself and your baby
Timely diagnosis and treatment are important if you want to avoid the damaging health outcomes of congenital syphilis.
- Get tested for syphilis during your first prenatal visit and at the start of the third trimester.
- If you have tested positive, make sure to get treatment right away. Syphilis can be cured with antibiotics.
- Infants positive with CS must be treated with antibiotics immediately to prevent the development of serious health problems. Follow-up care must also be ensured to determine if the treatment was effective.
- You can reduce your risk of being infected if you and your partner stay in a monogamous relationship.
- Using latex condoms can also help lower your chances of a syphilis infection during, before and after pregnancy.
Do you think you or your baby might have syphilis? Knowing for sure is your first step to the right treatment. Find a professional STD testing clinic in San Diego, California and get tested now.