With only a single case in our state about a decade ago, congenital syphilis has been on the rise ever since.
In 2023, (according to preliminary data), North Carolina lost nine people from this completely preventable cause; with another 63 babies suffering from congenital syphilis infection.
According to Victoria Mobley, HIV/STI medical director for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Public Health, more than half of the mothers of the babies born with syphilis had no documented prenatal care at the time they delivered. Equally of concern, of the women who did have prenatal care, only 41% received appropriate screening tests, despite state law requirements for syphilis testing for anyone who is pregnant (at first pre-natal visit, again between 28-30 weeks gestation and at time of delivery).
Sadly, this is a national epidemic, and more action must be taken to begin to address it.