Infectious agent: Treponema Pallidum
Description of illness: Congenital
syphilis is a bacterial infection that occurs when a mother with syphilis
passes the infection on to her baby during pregnancy. Congenital syphilis is linked to low birth
weight, miscarriage and stillbirth. An infected baby may be born without any signs
or symptoms and go on develop serious health problems within a few weeks.
Congenital syphilis can be treated with an antibiotic but damage that has been
done is irreversible. Untreated babies may die or develop serious health
problems such as cataracts, deafness, and seizures. Congenital syphilis can be
prevented if a mother is treated early enough during pregnancy. All pregnant
women should be screened for syphilis at the first prenatal visit; women at
risk should also be screened at the beginning of the third trimester and again at
the time of delivery.