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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
TEXAS: Health Officials: Number of Babies Born with Syphilis Down in Bexar County
By Marvin Hurst & Mayra Moreno
August 20, 2013 (San Antonio) (08.14.2013)

A report for Bexar County, Texas, released August 14 showed that the county had fewer reported cases of infants born with congenital syphilis in 2013, with seven confirmed cases from January to July of this year. However, according to Metro Health officials, while this was progress, the county still had reason for concern. Bexar County had nine confirmed cases in July of 2012 and 18 cases by the end of last year. Five of the infants diagnosed with congenital syphilis in 2012 died. Director of Public Health Dr. Thomas Schlenker said that under Texas law, doctors were only required to test expectant mothers twice for syphilis, but every pregnant woman needed to be tested an additional time; testing during the third trimester was particularly crucial. Metro Health officials said that most of the infected patients did not receiving prenatal care.