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Important Facts for Syphilis Incidence - Congenital


Rate of new cases of congenital syphilis per 100,000 live births


Number of reported congenital syphilis cases


Number 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.[ ^1^]

Healthy People Objective: Reduce congenital syphilis

U.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, fourteen in 2018 and again in 2019, and 25 cases in 2020.

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 Practices

All 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. [ ^1^]

Health Program Information

NJDOH Sexually Transmitted Disease Program: []
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Fri, 19 August 2022 19:00:36 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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