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Published On: Mon, Sep 9th, 2019

Philadelphia reports increase in congenital syphilis

By Robert Herriman @infectiousdiseasenews

Philadelphia city health officials have issued a health alert after reporting an increase in congenital syphilis cases.

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Image/CDC

To date in 2019, 5 cases of congenital syphilis have been reported, compared to 4 cases in all of 2018, and corresponds with a 35.9% increase to date in cases of infectious syphilis in women, particularly in
women who inject drugs.

Pregnant women with untreated syphilis can pass the infection to their developing baby at any time, causing bone disorders, deafness, other congenital defects, or even stillbirth/death.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) is offering the following recommendations:

  • Pregnant persons must be screened for syphilis at first prenatal encounter, third
    trimester, and delivery.
  • A medical encounter with a pregnant person in any setting, including the ER, should be considered a prenatal encounter.
  • RPR or VDRL tests are recommended for syphilis screening during pregnancy.
  • RPR or VDRL tests on infant serum, not cord blood, are recommended for syphilis screening in neonates.

Patients with primary, secondary, or early latent syphilis and their sex partners should be treated with
benzathine penicillin G, 2.4 million units IM. Patients with late latent syphilis or syphilis of unknown
duration and their sex partners should be treated with benzathine penicillin 2.4 million units IM weekly
for 3 weeks. Infants with proven, likely or possible congenital syphilis should be treated with aqueous
crystalline penicillin G, 50,000 units/kg IV every 12 hours x 7 days and every 8 hours thereafter for a
total of 10 days.


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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. […] Los casos reportados en 2019 representan un incremento de 35.9% con respecto a 2018. […]

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