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Thread: US Syphilis Rate in Newborns Soaring

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    US Syphilis Rate in Newborns Soaring

    The disease was nearly eradicated around 2000 but has been on the rise since 2012. Health officials partially blame the opioid epidemic.

    California and Georgia might not seem like they have much in common. But both states are struggling to contain a spike in the number of newborns infected with congenital syphilis.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of congenital syphilis cases has reached its highest level since 2001. In 2015, the latest year for national data, 487 babies were born with the disease, which was nearly eradicated around 2000. Meanwhile, rates for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in general are at an all-time high.
    Congenital syphilis is when syphilis is passed down from a mother to her fetus. The disease can cause miscarriages and stillbirth. For newborns, it can result in brain and nerve problems, bone deformities, meningitis and death.


    Kern County, Calif., in the state’s Central Valley, is experiencing unseen rates of the infection. Three cases in 2013 jumped to 18 in 2014 and topped out at 28 in both 2015 and 2016. This is after decades of seeing “one case at most per year,” says Denise Smith, the county's director of disease control.

    California has the third highest rate of congenital syphilis, after Georgia and Louisiana. Outbreaks vary in size and scope, but health officials agree there are at least two common factors contributing to the problem everywhere: the opioid epidemic and lack of prenatal care.

    “If someone is actively engaged in substance abuse, they’re not thinking about their health care,” says Kern County's Smith.
    Women who use drugs, particularly opioids like heroin and methamphetamine, are more at risk of contracting syphilis because it can be transmitted through needles as well as sex. Karen Landers, medical director for communicable diseases at the Alabama Department of Public Health, says that pregnant women using drugs are less likely to seek prenatal care and therefore learn they have syphilis. Unless treated with antibiotics early in a pregnancy, syphilis has a 50 percent chance of infecting a baby.

    CDC data shows that overdose deaths involving opioids began to rise sharply in 2013, the same year congenital syphilis started to come back. Before that, overdoses were actually steady after years of gradually increasing.

    *Snip*
    Syphilis Rate Among Newborns Reaches Highest Level in Years

    This is a public health crisis, and needs a public health response. Not the best time to be eliminating programs for women's health or slashing insurance coverage.

    What say you?
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    Moderator HCProf's Avatar
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    One of the most horrific sights you will ever see, is to watch a newborn withdraw from addictive drugs. This should be treated as a crime and women who bring a life into this world fully addicted to opioids, crack, heroin, should be arrested upon discharge from the hospital. These babies are never the same and suffer from the effects their entire lives with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, etc. This is a form of abuse before the baby even starts its life. Another embarrassing story for women. Now we will have syphilis babies. Throw them in jail and let them withdraw like their poor infant is doing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HCProf View Post
    One of the most horrific sights you will ever see, is to watch a newborn withdraw from addictive drugs. This should be treated as a crime and women who bring a life into this world fully addicted to opioids, crack, heroin, should be arrested upon discharge from the hospital. These babies are never the same and suffer from the effects their entire lives with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, etc. This is a form of abuse before the baby even starts its life. Another embarrassing story for women. Now we will have syphilis babies. Throw them in jail and let them withdraw like their poor infant is doing.
    I understand the sentiment, just not sure what it helps. Now I've got mom in jail on my dime and the kid in our god-awful shitty state-sanctioned abuse system also on my dime. That kid will stand a pretty good chance of growing up to become yet another baby-spawning drug addict criminal.

    God what do you do? I really don't know.

    How about some sort of kibbutz? Put the mom and the baby in together. Run it like a commune, as self-sufficient as possible. You work, you rehab, you learn how to raise your baby. Staff the place with as many women in possible, including the top three positions or something. I don't know. I really don't. Just trying.

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HCProf View Post
    One of the most horrific sights you will ever see, is to watch a newborn withdraw from addictive drugs. This should be treated as a crime and women who bring a life into this world fully addicted to opioids, crack, heroin, should be arrested upon discharge from the hospital. These babies are never the same and suffer from the effects their entire lives with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, etc. This is a form of abuse before the baby even starts its life. Another embarrassing story for women. Now we will have syphilis babies. Throw them in jail and let them withdraw like their poor infant is doing.
    No doubt it is horrible, but I hope we can reach many with addiction care, and need use jail only in extreme cases.

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    Veteran Member EnigmaO01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HCProf View Post
    One of the most horrific sights you will ever see, is to watch a newborn withdraw from addictive drugs. This should be treated as a crime and women who bring a life into this world fully addicted to opioids, crack, heroin, should be arrested upon discharge from the hospital. These babies are never the same and suffer from the effects their entire lives with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, etc. This is a form of abuse before the baby even starts its life. Another embarrassing story for women. Now we will have syphilis babies. Throw them in jail and let them withdraw like their poor infant is doing.
    What about the politicians and a president that don't want to fund help for addicts to get off drugs?
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    Veteran Member EnigmaO01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by splansing View Post
    I understand the sentiment, just not sure what it helps. Now I've got mom in jail on my dime and the kid in our god-awful shitty state-sanctioned abuse system also on my dime. That kid will stand a pretty good chance of growing up to become yet another baby-spawning drug addict criminal.

    God what do you do? I really don't know.

    How about some sort of kibbutz? Put the mom and the baby in together. Run it like a commune, as self-sufficient as possible. You work, you rehab, you learn how to raise your baby. Staff the place with as many women in possible, including the top three positions or something. I don't know. I really don't. Just trying.
    But the republicans would rather pay the private jail corps and be done with those people.
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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnigmaO01 View Post
    What about the politicians and a president that don't want to fund help for addicts to get off drugs?
    Worse, they fail completely to control the wide, unneeded distribution of oxytocin and related Rx drugs, which is what is fueling this epidemic.

    And THAT'S on Obama.

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    Mad Genius For Hire Puzzling Evidence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Worse, they fail completely to control the wide, unneeded distribution of oxytocin and related Rx drugs, which is what is fueling this epidemic.

    And THAT'S on Obama.
    That is NOT on Obama. Where do you come up with this stuff???

    They fail to "completely" control it?? How is that possible?

    Oxytocin? That's an over the counter drug. I believe you meant to say "oxycontin" and under Obamas administration, that drug has become almost exclusively time released and if you crush it, it does not work at all. Its much safer than it used to be. The real danger to the public us when people go into withdraw and they turn to street drugs for relief.
    Last edited by Puzzling Evidence; 22nd March 2017 at 08:23 AM.
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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puzzling Evidence View Post
    That is NOT on Obama. Where do you come up with this stuff???

    They fail to "completely" control it?? How is that possible?

    Oxytocin? That's an over the counter drug. I believe you ment to say "oxycontin" and under Obamas administration, that drug has become almost exclusivly time released and if you crush it, it does not work at all. Its much safer than ot used to me. The real danger to the public us when peopke go into withraw and they turn to street frugs for relief.
    Thank you for correcting me.

    I am frustrated and angry that things have gotten so bad, so fast.
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