Tuesday , January 31 2023

Health alerts for syphilis prevention, testing and treatment


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The third Saturday of the month of October, 16, is marked by the National Day for Combating Syphilis and Congenital Syphilis

The date brings a warning about the severity of this sexually transmitted infection (STI), especially in pregnant women. In pregnant women, syphilis can be transmitted to the baby and can cause miscarriage, premature birth, fetal malformation, deafness, blindness, mental deficiency and death at birth. In adults, syphilis can cause sores on the genitals, spots and lesions on the skin, body, and can also lead to death.

For this reason, the Directorate of Epidemiological Surveillance (Dive) uses the date to draw the attention of the people of Santa Catarina to the prevention, testing and treatment of syphilis. The STI manager of Dive, medical infectologist Regina Valim, explains that syphilis has been cured and can be diagnosed with a quick test. “It’s available for free in health care across the state. The test is done with a drop of blood taken from the tip of the finger and the result comes out within a maximum of 30 minutes “, explains the doctor.

In pregnant women, the indication is that the test is performed during prenatal care at least three times: first and third trimesters of pregnancy, childbirth or in cases of abortion. The pregnant woman’s partner should also be tested. If the infection is detected, treatment should be started immediately to prevent the transmission of syphilis to the baby. Couples planning to have children should also undergo the test, even before pregnancy.

In addition to the test, recommended for everyone, it is also essential that sexual partners use condoms in all relationships.

Dive’s gynecologist Flávia Soares points out that syphilis can cause symptoms to appear and disappear, but the infection remains in the body. “Prevention, testing and treatment are the best tools against infection. The lack of treatment can result in serious complications, which can lead to death “, the doctor concludes.


Data from the Information System for Notifiable Diseases show that between 2019 and 2020 the number of notifications of acquired syphilis had a slight decrease, from 10,946 cases in 2019 to 8,802 in 2020. There was also a slight decrease in pregnant women, from 2,133 cases in 2019 to 2,075 in 2020, as well as data on congenital syphilis, in children under 1 year, who had a decrease from 550 cases in 2019 to 502 in 2020.

Dive’s STI manager, medical infectologist Regina Valim, believes that this decline may be related to the pandemic, which has led to fewer people seeking health care for consultation, examinations and tests, but also to the common one. effort state, regional and municipal authorities in control and make the population aware of the infection, prevent more people from getting sick.

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