13 times more babies born with syphilis in Canada over 4 years, data shows – CBC

Congenital syphilis increased 1,271% from 2017-21, from 7 cases to 96

Mar 14, 2023

There has been a sharp increase in the number of babies born in Canada with syphilis, an infection that one doctor says “can be particularly devastating in pregnancy.”

“It can lead to outcomes such as fetal demise … or stillbirth,” said Dr. Darrell Tan, an infectious disease physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, and the Canada Research Chair in HIV Prevention and STI Research.

“And then in a child [born with syphilis] there can be many, many manifestations … it can affect organ systems like the brain, the bones and joints, virtually any organ system in the body,” he told The Current’s guest host Mark Kelley.

Figures from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) show that there were seven cases of congenital syphilis in 2017, but 96 cases in 2021 — an increase of 1,271 per cent over four years. A similar trend has been observed south of the border.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/congenital-syphilis-babies-canada-1.6777406

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