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Issue Brief: Congenital Syphilis

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Governors are crucial in shaping policies to reduce congenital syphilis and promote the health of mothers and babies across the United States.


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In the United States, congenital disease is a serious public health issue that affects maternal and child populations. This issue brief explains what congenitalsyphilis, its impact and importance of early treatment and screening are. The issue brief also highlights policy considerations Governors can use to deal with the growing incidence, and outlines the potential public health impacts of ignoring the rise in congenital siphilis.

Between 2015 and 2019 there was an increase of nearly 30 per cent in the number of syphilis patients across the U.S. Congenital syphilis rates grew by 582 per cent over the past decade. Medicaid recipients, whose rates are six times higher than those with private insurances, have the highest rate of congenitals. In 37 states, rates continued to increase between 2020 and 2021. This resulted in 2,855 cases. Of these cases, 220 were stillbirths and infant deaths.



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