According to state health officials, Congenital syphilis infections continue to rise in North Carolina. Congenital syphilis infections are PREVENTABLE by early detection and rapid treatment of the mother’s infection. North Carolina healthcare providers are required to screen ALL pregnant persons for syphilis.

Findings from a review of congenital syphilis cases in North Carolina from 2016 to 2022 indicate infants end up with congenital syphilis when:

  • There is no or late entry of pregnant women into prenatal care.
  • There was prenatal care but incomplete syphilis testing during pregnancy.
  • Mother received delayed, no, or inadequate treatment for her stage of syphilis infection.
  • The exposed newborn was not appropriately evaluated or treated at birth for congenital syphilis.

“North Carolina’s congenital syphilis numbers are the highest they have been in almost 20 years,” said NCDHHS Division of Public Health HIV/STI Medical Director Dr. Victoria Mobley. “It will take the commitment of all our providers across practice settings to reverse this trend. Syphilis screening should be a routine part of health care for all people who are sexually active and the standard of care for every single pregnant woman.”

Data from the CDC shows over a three-digit percent surge in congenital syphilis cases over the past five years. The organization notes there is an “urgent need” for action to curb this trend.


Steps you can take:

Download “Stop Congenital Syphilis in its Tracks” posters (.zip file).