Houston Chronicle (09.17.12)
Health officials in San Antonio, Texas, have been assigning case workers to follow up on women treated for syphilis infection throughout their pregnancies to make sure they received proper treatment. The officials are concerned about the increase in babies born with the disease. There were nine syphilis-infected babies born in the first half of 2012, compared to eight in 2011. Two of these babies died. Health officials are also requiring doctors and hospitals to test women for syphilis in their third trimester, in addition to the test received at the first prenatal visit. Babies with syphilis can be stillborn or suffer blindness, hearing problems, deformities, and nervous system disorders. Syphilis in a newborn is easily prevented if the mother receives treatment during her pregnancy. There have been no new births of babies with syphilis since the additional monitoring began.