Epidemiology of congenital syphilis in a South Bronx population: a follow-up study

Valerie May G. Sia 1 , Cristina Romero 1 , Dominic C. Sia 1 , Jenny Pou 1  and Benamanahalli K. Rajegowda 1
  • 1 Department of Pediatrics, Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, Bronx, NY/Weill Medical College/Cornell University, NY, USA

Abstract

Despite widespread prenatal serological screening, the Centers for Disease Control recently reported that from 2005 to 2008, congenital syphilis increased by 23%, many being born to black women in the southern United States. We collected data on the epidemiology of this condition in our institution for the past 18 years (January 1, 1991–December 31, 2008). There has been a marked decrease in the incidence of active infection since the 1990s. Through the 18 years period reviewed, only 21 cases of active neonatal infection were documented among 699 babies who had a positive rapid plasma reagin test. Of these 21 cases, only one was symptomatic. As compared to previous studies, poor prenatal care has still the greatest correlation with active infection. This study might contribute towards the reinforcement of current programs and the formulation of newer strategies towards control and elimination of this condition.

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