By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

Iowa state health officials are reporting an increase in congenital syphilis cases in 2021, the Carroll Broadcasting Company reports. To date, nine cases have been identified in Iowa that meet the definition for congenital syphilis. That matches the number of cases seen in the previous 12 years combined.


And health officials say the upward trend shows no sign of slowing and may in fact be accelerating.

Congenital syphilis is an infectious disease transmitted by an infected mother to her baby in the womb. Adults transmit syphilis through sexual contact but mothers can transmit the infection to their baby in the womb or through the birthing process. The disease can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, death shortly after birth, prematurity and birth defects. A woman can be treated and cured for syphilis during pregnancy, but it is important for women to be tested in time for treatment to be effective. Babies who test positive for syphilis at birth must be treated immediately to prevent serious health issues.