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Missed Opportunities for Preventing Congenital Syphilis ID'd

Nationwide, lack of adequate maternal treatment, timely prenatal care are most common opportunities


THURSDAY, June 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The most commonly missed opportunity for prevention of congenital syphilis is lack of adequate maternal treatment despite timely diagnosis, according to research published in the June 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Anne Kimball, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues identified missed opportunities for congenital syphilis prevention using 2018 national congenital syphilis surveillance data and a previously developed framework.

The researchers found that lack of adequate maternal treatment despite the timely diagnosis of syphilis and lack of timely prenatal care were the most commonly missed prevention opportunities (30.7 and 28.2 percent, respectively), with variation by geographic region. The national pattern was seen in the South (34.3 and 19.9 percent, respectively), while in the West, the most commonly missed opportunity was lack of timely prenatal care, followed by lack of adequate maternal treatment despite a timely diagnosis (41.1 and 28.6 percent, respectively). The most commonly missed opportunity in the Northeast was late identification of seroconversion during pregnancy (39.6 percent).

"Halting the continued increases and eventually eliminating congenital syphilis in the United States will require collaboration between public health and health care sectors, understanding missed prevention opportunities, and implementing tailored interventions accordingly," the authors write.

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