United States

Number of Babies Born With Syphilis Has Hit a 20-Year High: CDC

The CDC says 40 percent of babies infected with syphilis are stillborn or die soon after they are born

The number of babies born with syphilis has doubled since 2013 and is at a 20-year high, federal health officials said Tuesday.

More than 900 U.S. babies were born infected with syphilis in 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

It’s easy to cure a syphilis infection with antibiotics, but the sexually transmitted infection often does not cause immediate symptoms and people may not know they have it, NBC News reported.

It can kill babies, however. The CDC says 40 percent of babies infected with syphilis are stillborn or die soon after they are born. Others are born prematurely.

Those who survive can develop deformed bones, severe anemia, meningitis, blindness and deafness.

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