Australia Women told to get tested after syphilis spike sees baby die in womb

12:54  09 august  2018
12:54  09 august  2018 Source:

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About 50 percent of pregnant women with untreated early syphilis end up a baby who's infected. Because it takes about four to six weeks after exposure to get a positive result from the blood test , the result may be negative if you're tested too soon.

If a woman knows the symptoms of dead baby in womb , she will be able to go to a doctor on time and get necessary treatment. There may occur different symptoms if a baby dies in womb on late terms of pregnancy. A woman ’s belly may continue to grow and blood tests will show that she’s pregnant.

The syphilis virus under a microscope.© Supplied The syphilis virus under a microscope. All Victorian women of reproductive age are being advised to get tested for syphilis after a baby died in the womb when it contracted the disease from its mother.

It is the first fatal case of congenital syphilis recorded in the state in 14 years, and comes amid a resurgence of the dangerous sexually transmitted infection which has seen cases jump 40 per cent since 2015.

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The outbreak, which last year affected a record 1337 Victorians, has mostly infected gay men. Nationwide, the disease has struck Aboriginal communities in Australia’s far north and South Australia, also causing baby deaths.

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Congenital syphilis cases spiked by 28 percent from 2015 to 2016. But more broadly, the U.S. is seeing more congenital syphilis cases because there “But you have to diagnose them in order to do that, and it has to be done very routinely, the way that some people get tested for blood pressure.”

How do people get syphilis ? Syphilis is transmitted from person to person by direct contact with a syphilitic sore, known as a chancre. All pregnant women should be tested for syphilis at the first prenatal visit. Untreated babies may become developmentally delayed, have seizures, or die .

A growing number of women in Victoria have become infected (health authorities detected 146 in 2017), putting any unborn children they might have at risk of serious birth defects or death.

Last year was the first time since 2004 that cases of congenital syphilis were notified in Victoria. There were two cases – one was fatal.

Syphilis, which first appeared in the 15th century, is a notorious disease that begins with an appearance of sores or ulcers, then develops into a rash, and if untreated can eventually cause a brain infection and dementia.

It can be cured with penicillin, but people may not seek treatment because they do not realise they have been infected, as syphilis can be asymptomatic following signs of the initial infection.

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However, it’s not always so easy for the mom-to-be to tell which position her baby is in at any given moment. As you progress farther along in your pregnancy, it will become easier to determine your baby ’s position inside the womb .

Ask your partner to get tested and treated for syphilis . Up to 2 in 5 babies (40 percent) born to women with untreated syphilis die from the infection. Miscarriage is when a baby dies in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy.

A large-scale screening program has now been recommended by Victoria’s deputy chief health officer Dr Brett Sutton, who issued an alert on Thursday afternoon.

All men who have sex with men should be tested at least annually, and more often if they are having unprotected sex, participate in group sex or have many sexual partners, according to health authorities.

There has been a spike in syphilis infections in Victoria.© Andrew Darby There has been a spike in syphilis infections in Victoria. All women of reproductive age should also be screened, including all pregnant women during their first antenatal visit, as should sex workers, travellers returning from countries where syphilis is more prevalent, people who inject drugs and those who have multiple sexual partners.

Dr Sutton said most of this screening advice had already been in place, albeit not necessarily followed. The new advice is for additional tests for some women throughout their pregnancy.

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Stillbirth and Miscarriage. Stillbirth is the term used when a pregnant woman 's baby dies in the womb from natural causes any time after the 20th week of pregnancy, says the NICHHD. A test called an ultrasound is used to determine if the baby is still living.

All women should be tested for syphilis at their first prenatal visit and again later if they’re at high risk. Fetuses infected with syphilis often die in the womb , says Damian P. Alagia III, MD Syphilis only strikes babies of pregnant women who do not get diagnosed and treated correctly with antibiotics.

It is theorised that the growing spread of syphilis could be partly linked to social media, and online dating apps, providing more opportunities for people to hook up.

“Maybe there are dynamics around casual sex that are different than 20 years ago, where young people probably had to go through greater efforts to meet numbers of partners,” Dr Sutton said.

Another factor that could be at play is the advent of new treatments and preventions for HIV.

“That’s a very good news story, but it also means some of the fear of unprotected sex with men who have sex with men is diminished,” Dr Sutton said.

“We’ve seen an associated drop in regular condom use in that high-risk population in the last few years.”

Using a condom can help prevent the spread of the infection, which can be transmitted by vaginal, anal and oral sex.

It comes as gonorrhoea, once dubbed “the clap”, also makes a comeback in Victoria, causing painful urination and abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina.

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