Pregnant women with syphilis who do not receive a proper diagnosis and/or adequate prenatal care may spread the infection in utero to their fetuses. Congenital syphilis can have major health impacts, such as miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and low birthweight, as well as jaundice, meningitis, deformed bones and severe anemia in infants.
In a recent qualitative study of contributing factors in cases of congenital syphilis reported in the state of Indiana, all instances were found to be attributable to maternal social or behavioral influences that can hamper women’s care, rather than affected by any missed opportunities by providers to follow accepted guidelines for screening and treatment. “Social Vulnerability in Congenital Syphilis Case Mothers: Qualitative Assessment of Cases in Indiana, 2014–2016,” published online ahead-of-print in the Journal of the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association, was led by Dawne DiOrio, adjunct instructor in the undergraduate Health Care Management and Policy faculty group at School of Public and Environmental Affairsand in the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department at the School of Public Health. (more…)