The number of babies born with syphilis — which can spread from a woman to her fetus during pregnancy — jumped 38% from 2012 to 2014, reaching the highest level since 2001, according to a report released Thursday.
Babies with syphilis face serious risks, including death. Syphilis, a sexually transmitted infection, also can cause miscarriages and stillbirths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which released the report.
The overall number of babies born with syphilis is relatively small, with 458 infected infants in 2014, or 11.6 cases per 100,000 newborns, according to the report.
But the CDC considers syphilis in babies a "sentinel event" that indicates the overall strength of a health system.
Syphilis is almost entirely preventable, both in adults and babies. Adults and teens can avoid infection either by using condoms during sex, abstaining from sex or being with a monogamous partner. Giving penicillin to pregnant women prevents infection in 98% of newborns, according to the CDC.
There are consequences to unprotected promiscuity. STD rates increase with the square of the number of different partners per time period. I have had conversations with academics who are horrified that college kids aren't more promiscuous (and this from a guy who supports gun control). Nice map showing syphilis rates by state:
DC, CA, NY, GA. Only GA qualifies as Republican.