Syphilis cases in pregnant women on the rise in Michigan

Syphilis cases in pregnant women on the rise in Michigan
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 10:32 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2022 at 11:57 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - There’s an alarming uptick of sexually transmitted infections in Michigan -- specifically, syphilis.

It’s impacting pregnant women at a concerning rate.

Read: Michigan health officials urge residents to get tested for sexually transmitted infections

Babies born with syphilis is at an all time high. Dr. Peter Gulick. a professor of medicine at Michigan State University, said in Ingham County alone, it is fifth in the state for the total number of syphilis cases. Gulick said the pandemic is to blame.

“Since 2019 to 2021 there’s been an increase in syphilis in women nationwide about 34%,” said Gulick, “A lot of it is because of COVID and the lack of patients coming in for care the lack of patients getting tested seeing their primary care physician.”

For women who are pregnant, congenital syphilis is something they should look out for. It can be passed on to the child through delivery, making it an even bigger issue.

“It can cause morbidity mortality, it can cause central nervous system complications, it can cause visual problems. Congenital syphilis can be in a very very severe for the for the infant,” Gulick said. “We’ve got to get in for our Primary Care Management and part of that is for those individuals that have high risk for Contracting us sexually transmitted infections.”

Testing is available at local health departments and additional testing locations can be found on MDHHS’ official website here.

Related: Rates of certain STDs increased in 2020, CDC data shows

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