Virginia officials say rare syphilis is spiking among babies
State health officials are sounding the alarm amid a spike in babies being born with syphilis.
Why it matters: Congenital syphilis — syphilis passed to the fetus during pregnancy — is easily treatable, but when it's missed, it can be deadly for babies.
By the numbers: The state went from one case in 2012 to 20 last year, the Virginia Department of Health warned in a letter to clinicians last week.
- That's the highest number in three decades, according to state epidemiologist Laurie Forlano, who noted the cases are overwhelmingly impacting Black and Latino families.
Zoom out: States around the country are reporting similar increases.
- Experts point to a drop in funding for STD prevention and reallocation of resources during the pandemic as potential causes, per CNN.
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