Syphilis cases continue to increase in Wisconsin

Congenital syphilis increased by 81% from 2021 to 2022, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Posted at 5:20 PM, Oct 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-10 18:20:16-04

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced that syphilis, a sexually transmitted infection, increased by 19% from 2021-2022 in Wisconsin.

According to the health department, "Among those cases, congenital syphilis increased 81% (16 to 29) during this same time period. By comparison, Wisconsin had an average 0-2 congenital syphilis cases per year in the 2010’s."

Congenital syphilis is when a pregnant mother passes down the infection to their newborn. Syphilis can be treated with antibiotics but can lead to serious health issues. A baby born with syphilis can have seizures and deafness.

“These increases from pre-pandemic numbers are concerning, especially the increase in cases of congenital syphilis,” said DHS Chief Medical Officer for the Bureau of Communicable Disease and State Epidemiologist Dr. Ryan Westergaard. “Syphilis and congenital syphilis can lead to serious health complications, but they are preventable with simple screening, early detection, and treatment.”

If someone has this STI, it is important for them to go to a local doctor to get treated.

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