Syphilis can cause miscarriages, premature births, or stillbirths. It can also cause death of newborn babies. Some infants with congenital syphilis have symptoms at birth, but most develop symptoms later.
Untreated babies with congenital syphilis can have deformities, delays in development, or seizures, along with many other problems such as rash, fever, swollen liver and spleen, anemia, and jaundice. Sores on infected babies are infectious. Rarely, the symptoms of early-stage syphilis may go unseen in infants and they may subsequently develop the symptoms of late-stage syphilis, including damage to their bones, teeth, eyes, ears, and brains.
People infected with syphilis have a two- to five-fold increase risk of getting infected with HIV. Strong evidence shows the increased odds of getting and transmitting HIV in the presence of other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) as well. You should discuss this and other STDs with your healthcare provider.
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Last Updated October 27, 2014