Rise in babies with syphilis seen in San Antonio

September 18, 2012 2:36:30 AM PDT
After seeing rising numbers of San Antonio babies born with syphilis, health officials started assigning case workers to follow infected women throughout their pregnancies to make sure they get proper treatment.

Dr. Thomas Schlenker, director of the Metropolitan Health District, tells the San Antonio Express-News that nine syphilis-infected babies were born in San Antonio in the first half of the year compared to eight for all of last year. Two of the babies died.

But no new cases have been reported since the beginning of July, just after the new case management program started.

The sexually transmitted disease often results in stillbirth. Babies who survive can suffer blindness, hearing problems, deformities and nervous system disorders. It is easily prevented though if the mother is diagnosed and treated with penicillin.