In ten years, cases of syphilis in infants have tripled in Brazil
A disease as quiet as it is dangerous spreads across the country, worrying doctors and authorities trying to overcome the shortage of antibiotic used in its treatment. The increase in the number of people with syphilis has generated great concern, since it is a sexually transmitted disease (STD), being transmitted through small cuts present on the skin or mucous membranes. Saúde, released on Thursday (30) by the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, indicate that the syphilis epidemic that hits Brazil has caused the number of infant and fetal deaths due to congenital (mother-transmitted) disease to triple in the last ten years
The information presented shows that in 2006 there were 477 cases of children infected with the disease who died in the mother's womb, were born dead or died up to one year after giving birth. Already last year, that number rose to 1,499 babies. According to the statement, the category with the highest number of fatalities last year was spontaneous abortion due to congenital syphilis, with 692 records. The new index is not higher than that recorded in 2015 (1,620). The other 622 babies are in the stillborn category and had 185 children who died before the age of 1.
In addition, the Ministry of Health suggests that the outbreak of the disease and the increase in mortality from congenital syphilis may be associated to four main factors: the lack of penicillin in the market, the increase in sexual risk behavior in the country, the lack of assistance to pregnant women and the resistance of some health professionals to use the medication indicated by risk of anaphylactic reaction. However, they reported that the supply of penicillin has already normalized in the country since the beginning of 2017.
In October 2017, the agency announced a set of actions for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of syphilis. The numbers related to the disease are of concern to health authorities, showing that between 2015 and 2016, acquired syphilis had an increase of 27.9%; syphilis in pregnant women, 14.7%; and the congenital (transmitted from the mother to the baby by the placenta or at the time of delivery) of 4.7%. For more information on the increase in syphilis in Brazil and the government strategies click here!
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