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Hawaii health officials call for action as syphilis cases rise

Hawaii health officials, together with doctor Gov. Josh Green, stated Wednesday that expanded screening and therapy are obligatory to handle the rising charge of syphilis cases in ladies and newborns. 

The Department of Health stated in a launch that the persevering with rise in ladies and the congenital system is “alarming and requires immediate attention.”

The variety of infants born with congenital syphilis ranged from zero to 4 cases from 2000 to 2019 and 20 cases in 2021. 

Preliminary knowledge signifies no less than 22 cases final yr – a dramatic rise in cases related to rising infections in adults. 

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An aerial view reveals jap Oahu island, Hawaii on Feb. 23, 2022. (Photo by DANIEL SLIM/AFP through Getty Images)

“All sexually active people with risk factors for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) should be regularly tested for syphilis and other STIs,” Dr. Diana Felton, chief of the Department of Health Communicable Disease and Public Health Nursing Division, stated in an announcement.

 “For pregnant persons, we now recommend syphilis screening three times: as early as possible during the first trimester, at 28 to 32 weeks of gestation and at the time of delivery. It is important that sexual partners are also treated to prevent reinfection,” she added. 

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The seal of Hawaii

The Seal of the State of Hawaii on the Hawaii State Capitol Building in O’ahu, Hawaii. (Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto through Getty Images)

Due to the truth that most cases of congenital syphilis in Hawaii have been reported in individuals who obtained late or no prenatal care, the division is urging enhanced screening in health care interactions apart from prenatal care. 

“Syphilis can have severe health impacts, especially for developing babies, including increased risk of stillbirth or death shortly after birth,” Felton stated. “The devastating effects of untreated syphilis are preventable if infections are detected early and treatment is initiated promptly.” 

Honolulu skyline

A view of the skyline of the Waikiki neighborhood of Honolulu on Dec. 31, 2014. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP through Getty Images)

Visits to emergency rooms, pressing care and first care clinics current alternatives each to establish and deal with syphilis and forestall recurrence of congenital syphilis. 

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The division continues to strongly advocate that girls start receiving prenatal care as quickly as they be taught they’re pregnant, ideally within the first trimester.   

The health division can also be alerting health care suppliers to be vigilant in screening for cases of syphilis in individuals who could turn out to be pregnant and through being pregnant.

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