The United States was on course to eliminate syphilis. Now it’s surging

Once on the path to eliminating syphilis, the United States has reversed course, with cases of the infectious disease surging.

From a low of under 32,000 cases in 2000, the number of people with syphilis has rocketed to more than 207,000 in 2022, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in January. That’s 62 cases per 100,000 people.

The crisis is hitting pregnant people and babies especially hard. The maternal rate for syphilis during pregnancy rose from 87 per 100,000 births in 2016 to 280 per 100,000 births in 2022, the CDC reported on February 13. Without treatment, pregnant people can pass a syphilis infection to the

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