Image: Disclosure / DIVE
The third Saturday of October is marked by the National Day to Combat Syphilis and Congenital Syphilis, a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) that can be prevented with the use of condoms in all sexual relations. Despite the fact that infection rates fell between 2018 and 2019 in Santa Catarina, syphilis is still a major public health problem and when infection is acquired before or during pregnancy it is even more worrying.
The gynecologist of the Epidemiological Surveillance Directorate of Santa Catarina (DIVE / SC), Flávia Soares, explains that congenital syphilis, passed from mother to baby during pregnancy or childbirth, is a very serious disease and can cause several problems for child health ranging from malformation to death. “The most effective way to prevent congenital syphilis is to do prenatal care, where the tests that detect syphilis are performed periodically”, explains the doctor.
Syphilis is an infection that, in most cases, is asymptomatic, that is, the person does not know that he has and continues to transmit. The infection can manifest itself as a sore on Organs genitals and tongues (ganglia) in the groins, which disappear spontaneously and can go unnoticed. The best way to make the diagnosis is through the rapid test, which are tests performed in the Basic Health Units (UBS), free of charge, the result comes out in approximately 30 minutes.
The doctor explains that syphilis is curable and treatment is also carried out at the health unit, free of charge. In pregnancy, it is essential that treatment is done as early as possible to prevent illness in the baby, hence the importance of diagnosis.
Syphilis in Santa Catarina
In Santa Catarina, according to a survey by DIVE / SC, the incidence rate of congenital syphilis in the baby went from 6.9 in 2018 to 6.0 cases per thousand live births in 2019. In pregnant women, it dropped from 24.7 cases per thousand live births in 2018 to 21.5 in 2019. The acquired syphilis detection rate went from 175 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 2018 to 151.9 cases in 2019.
For the infectious disease physician at DIVE / SC and the manager of Surveillance of STIs, HIV / AIDS and Viral Hepatitis (GEIST), Regina Valim, the drop in rates may be related to the various strategies for coping with the syphilis epidemic, especially those focused on reduction of congenital syphilis, carried out at the federal, state and municipal levels. “These strategies have enabled the qualification of the assistance and surveillance networks, which reflects in the reduction of the number of cases”, he completes.
Cases per year (in absolute numbers)
Cases of acquired syphilis, in pregnant women and congenital in absolute numbers. Santa Catarina, 2010-2019.
Syphilis in pregnant women
Source: SINAN / DIVE / SUV / SES
Additional information for the press:
NUCOM – Epidemiological Surveillance Directorate (Dive)
State Department of Health
Fone: (48) 3664-7406 | 3664-7402
Email: [email protected]