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San Antonio In Midst of Syphilis Epidemic

The rate of syphilis cases is five times the national average in Bexar County. The county recorded 18 babies born with congenital syphilis in 2012. Five of those babies died at birth, and the remaining 13 have lifelong disabilities, including mental retardation, facial deformities, and blindness. In response, Dr. Thomas Schlenker, San Antonio's health director, recommends that local clinics and hospitals test pregnant women for syphilis during the first and third trimesters and at birth. Of the mothers who transmitted congenital syphilis in 2012, a majority of them were Hispanic and young. Schlenker notes that if blood tests for syphilis had been done during the pregnancies, all of these cases could have been prevented. In nearly all cases, a single penicillin shot will cure the disease. Syphilis is an STD that can eventually kill a person if left untreated.
Date of Publication
Dillon Collier
Article Type
General media
Article Category
Local and Community News

Disclaimer: NPIN provides this information as a public service only. The views and information provided about the materials, funding opportunities, and organizations do not necessarily state or reflect those of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, or NPIN. News Record #60972

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