The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) warns a recent upward trend of congenital syphilis cases in the state is showing no signs of slowing. In fact, health officials say cases are accelerating. So far in 2021, nine cases have been identified in Iowa that meet the definition for congenital syphilis. That matches the number of cases seen in the previous 12 years combined. Numerous cases involved pregnant women who did not have access to prenatal care until later in their pregnancy or did not have time to complete the recommended U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) treatment regimen before delivery. Congenital syphilis occurs when a pregnant woman passes the infection to a fetus or newborn, and if left untreated, can result in stillbirth or neonatal death. These outcomes are avoidable if cases are diagnosed and treated early. For more information about congenital syphilis, follow the links included below.