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David Morgan
575-528-5197 Office
575-649-0754 Mobile

Department of Health Orders Increased Screening of Syphilis


The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) today is issuing a Public Health Order – Congenital Syphilis requiring the increased screening of syphilis for pregnant women statewide to prevent congenital syphilis, a disease that occurs when a mother with sexually transmitted syphilis passes the infection on to her baby during pregnancy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , congenital syphilis has increased every year in the United States since 2012, resulting in severe health complications and deaths among newborns.

New Mexico currently had the eighth highest rate of congenital syphilis cases in the United States with 10 cases reported to NMDOH, with two of those cases ending in death. That number, as of December 30th of last year, has risen to 23 cases.

“Congenital syphilis is preventable with screening and treatment of pregnant women found to have syphilis,” said NMDOH Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel. “This order will assure medical practitioners, with patient consent, will make testing for syphilis part of the standard pre-natal care provided to their patients.”

The order requires medical professionals to test all pregnant women in their first and third trimesters and again at delivery. The CDC reports you can have syphilis and not know it. Many people with syphilis do not have any symptoms. Also, syphilis symptoms may be very mild, or be similar to signs of other health problems. The only way for anyone to know for sure if they have syphilis is to get tested.

For more information about congenital syphilis visit Congenital Syphilis - CDC Fact Sheet webpage.


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We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.


Versión en Español

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