Congenital syphilis is an infection in a fetus or infant that results from untreated syphilis during pregnancy. Congenital syphilis can lead to stillbirth, infant death, and serious birth defects including brain and nerve problems. Pregnant people should be tested for syphilis at the first prenatal visit and again during the third trimester. Syphilis in pregnancy can be treated with weekly doses of a single antibiotic medication.
Over the last several years, Oregon has experienced a steep increase in syphilis among people who can become pregnant and in congenital syphilis. Medical providers, public health professionals, and the public all play a role in congenital syphilis prevention.