STD Rampant In Texas Is Going Untreated, Leading To Infant Deaths
Syphilis is a bacterial infection spread through direct contact with chancres, that is, syphilitic sores. These sores pop up around human orifices, spreading the disease through sexual contact, but that's not always the method of infection.
Pregnant people can also spread syphilis to their unborn babies, and when left untreated, it can kill their baby, nearly half of the time:
Known as congenital syphilis, the disease in newborns can result in the baby's death up to 40% of the time, although the chances drop to 2% if the parent is treated at least 30 days before giving birth.
Syphilis sounds like a "historic" disease like leprosy or polio- something people don't get anymore because of advances in medicine. Even though that should be the case, it's not, and a lack of treatments for this very curable illness is hurting Texans, including the most vulnerable among us. So why is syphilis back, and why are treatments hard to come by?
Syphilis is making a major comeback in large part because of the pandemic. That sounds bizarre, as everyone was "isolating" but the reality is that people were still "hooking up" but were unable to schedule doctor appointments for treatment of the STD. We are still feeling the effects of that "boom" now.
People can visit the doctor now, so what is keeping us from nipping this problem in the bud? A lack of available treatment:
Complicating the effort to stop the spread is a national shortage of Bicillin, an injectable variety of the penicillin that is especially effective for pregnant people. Officials with the drug’s only U.S. manufacturer, Pfizer, said earlier this year that they underestimated what the demand would be and supply would be limited until next year.
Hundreds of babies are dying in the U.S. every year because of a preventable and treatable illness. Many of those are Texas babies, as our numbers of syphilis cases is incredibly high. This is totally unacceptable. Of course, the best solution is prevention, and Texans can get free prevention methods mailed directly to them.