DefinitionRate of new cases of congenital syphilis per 100,000 live births
NumeratorNumber of reported congenital syphilis cases
DenominatorNumber of live births
Why Is This Important?Syphilis may be passed to a baby by an infected mother during pregnancy and can lead to serious health problems. Syphilis has been linked to premature births, stillbirths, and neonatal death. Untreated infants that survive tend to develop problems in multiple organs, including the brain, eyes, ears, heart, liver, spleen, skin, teeth, and bones.[https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/stdfact-congenital-syphilis.htm ^1^]
Healthy People Objective: Reduce congenital syphilisU.S. Target: 9.6 new cases per 100,000 live births
State Target: 6.4 new cases per 100,000 live births
Other Objectives'''Revised Healthy New Jersey 2020 Objective STD-5''': Reduce the congenital syphilis incidence rate per 100,000 live births to 6.4 for the total population, 2.2 among Whites, 29.5 among Blacks, 5.5 among Hispanics, and 0.0 among Asians.
'''Original Healthy New Jersey 2020 Objective STD-5''': Reduce the congenital syphilis incidence rate per 100,000 live births to 4.0 among all births, 0.0 among Whites and Asians, 11.0 among Blacks, and 3.2 among Hispanics.
How Are We Doing?The incidence of congenital syphilis decreased dramatically in New Jersey from 77.2 per 1,000 live births in 1998 to 2.8 in 2010. From 2013 through 2015, no cases of congenital syphilis were reported in New Jersey. However, twelve cases were reported in 2016, thirteen cases in 2017, and fourteen in 2018 and again in 2019.
What Is Being Done?The New Jersey Department of Health's Sexually Transmitted Disease Program vigorously investigates all females who have a positive serology for syphilis from obstetric clinics and prenatal programs to insure appropriate treatment is given prior to child birth.
Evidence-based PracticesAll pregnant women should be tested for syphilis at the first prenatal visit and those at high-risk should be tested more than once during pregnancy. [https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/stdfact-congenital-syphilis.htm ^1^]
Health Program InformationNJDOH Sexually Transmitted Disease Program: [http://nj.gov/health/std/index.shtml]