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According to a newly released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, 207,255 total syphilis cases were documented in the United States in 2022, representing a nearly 80% increase in just 5 years. Although cases hit historic lows in 2000 and 2002, the trendline has climbed steeply since. Cases in nearly every demographic group and region increased, CDC says. Even more concerning, 3,755 cases of congenital syphilis were recorded among newborns in 2022, which represents more than 10 times as many newborns as were diagnosed a decade earlier. CDC also notes that the majority of syphilis cases were diagnosed outside of sexually transmitted disease clinics, including primary care sites and emergency departments.

Yes, congenital syphilis is an epidemic: While gonorrhea demonstrated an 11.1% increase in the time period from 2018 to 2022, and chlamydia a 6.2% decrease, officials are rightly concerned about the 78.9% rise in all syphilis cases and the 183.4% rise in congenital syphilis. “The most alarming concerns center around the syphilis and congenital syphilis epidemics, signaling an urgent need for swift innovation and collaboration from all [sexually transmitted infection] prevention partners,” the announcement stated.

Syphilis Cases Rise 80%—10 Times More Newborns Diagnosed