AP NEWS

Cases of congenital syphilis increasing in Oklahoma

October 29, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma health officials say the frequency of congenital syphilis cases has risen sharply in the state during the past five years and continues to increase.

The Oklahoma Department of Health said Tuesday the state has experienced a 283% increase in the number of congenital syphilis cases among women since 2014 and a 92% increase in the infectious disease since last year.

Adults transmit syphilis through sexual contact, but health officials say congenital syphilis can be transmitted by an infected mother to her baby in the womb or through the birthing process. The disease can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, prematurity, birth defects and death.

Officials say health care providers should test pregnant women for the disease early in their pregnancy and again early in the third trimester.