Congenital Syphilis On The Rise In Maricopa County

By Will Stone
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 5:39pm

More babies are being born with congenital syphilis in Maricopa County, according to new numbers from public health officials.

Maricopa County’s rate of congenital syphilis is almost 60 percent higher than the national average.

Last year, 30 babies were born with the disease, which is passed on by the mother during pregnancy.

Five of those babies died as a result.

The increase is a result of more men and women contracting the sexually transmitted disease and doctors neglecting to screen women during pregnancy.

Up to 40 percent of babies with untreated syphilis may die or be stillborn.

In response to the worrying trend, county officials have issued a public health order for providers to test for syphilis during the third trimester.