Maine CDC: Syphilis cases on the rise in the state; reports congenital case

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 8:51 AM EST
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PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - The Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people to test for STDs regularly as a probable case of congenital syphilis was reported to health officials.

Officials reported the case on Thursday, saying it is the first case of congenital syphilis reported in a Maine resident in nearly 30 years.

According to the Maine CDC, congenital syphilis occurs when a pregnant person with syphilis passes the infection to a fetus during any stage of pregnancy. It can also happen at any stage of the virus.

Around 40% of babies born to those with untreated syphilis can be stillborn or die from the infection as a newborn or lead to other newborn/childhood illnesses.

The state CDC however, says timely treatment of the infection in a pregnant person is 98% effective in preventing congenital syphilis.

From 2012 to 2021, cases of syphilis have increased by 405% in the state of Maine, according to state health officials, with 112 cases reported.