Fetal deaths from congenital syphilis in Harris Co. up 250%, Houston Health Department data shows

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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Health Department is calling for enactment aft preliminary information shows that determination has been an summation successful fetal deaths linked to a congenital syphilis surge successful the country among Black and Hispanic women.

The section said Tuesday that the information indicated that fetal deaths successful Harris County, including Houston, accrued from 4 successful 2019 to 14 successful 2020, a 250% increase.

Even much concerning, Beau Mitts, main of the department's bureau of HIV/STD and Viral Hepatitis Prevention, said that each the fetal deaths successful Harris County implicit the past 2 years were Black oregon Hispanic, highlighting stark disparities successful investigating and treatment.

More babies are calved with congenital syphilis successful the Houston country than immoderate different portion of the state, according to the wellness department.

Houston Health besides recovered that:

  • The fig of syphilis cases among large mothers successful Houston and Harris County continues to increase.
  • There was a 43% emergence successful cases from 2018 (104 cases) to 2019 (149 cases).
  • Women ages 15-44 successful Houston and Harris County accounted for 89% of each pistillate syphilis cases successful 2019.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said successful a 2019 study that Texas ranked archetypal for full congenital syphilis cases reported successful the United States that year.

In an effort to combat this, Houston Health launched My Prenatal Promise, a run that urges large women, particularly women of color, to get tested to support their babies from the disease.

It follows 3 actions for expectant mothers:

  • Talk to your doc and inquire astir syphilis
  • Get tested for syphilis 3 times during pregnancy. This is required by Texas authorities law, which says that HIV and syphilis tests indispensable instrumentality spot during the large woman's archetypal prenatal sojourn and during her 3rd trimester. An further syphilis trial indispensable beryllium performed astatine delivery. You tin work much astir the request connected the Texas Department of State Health Services website.
  • Treat you and your spouse close distant if diagnosed with syphilis.

Left untreated, STDs tin person superior semipermanent wellness complications. Chlamydia tin harm the antheral and pistillate reproductive strategy and pb to gestation complications. Syphilis tin besides pb to gestation problems, the aforementioned infections successful newborns and - if not treated with antibiotics - organ harm and neurological problems successful some men and women.

According to an April 7 nonfiction from the Associated Press, investigating for diseases similar chlamydia and gonorrhea plummeted successful galore parts of the U.S. past twelvemonth arsenic COVID-19 sapped distant resources and staff. Health officials accidental this investigating spread near them incapable to way oregon power outbreaks of the diseases, which were already astatine grounds levels earlier the pandemic.

Many STD clinics unopen their doors oregon slashed their hours during the lockdowns past spring. Staffers who antecedently helped way the infections were reassigned to absorption connected COVID-19. And labs that process astir STD tests were forced to ration supplies to absorption connected the flood of incoming COVID-19 samples.

The CDC has warned that STDs person been rising steadily for 5 years, hitting a grounds fig of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia cases successful 2018. Officials property the inclination to increases successful unstable housing, cause usage and societal stigma, on with cuts to intersexual acquisition and nationalist wellness budgets.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The video supra is from a Jan. 2021 study connected sexually transmitted infections successful the U.S.

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