New research from the Centers for Disease Control has brought to light a staggering discrepancy between the number of Black babies being born with syphilis vs. White and Hispanic babies. Why do more Black babies have the STD?
As reported in Essence, the CDC has found that nearly 50 percent of the congenital syphilis cases reported in 2008 occurred in infants born to Black mothers in the South. Thirty-one percent were in infants born to Hispanic mothers, and just 15 percent were in babies born to White moms. Infection is especially high among babies whose mothers didn't receive prenatal care.
Syphilis -- a.k.a. Treponema pallidum -- is caused by a bacteria spread by sexual contact. If left untreated, this disease can damage the heart, brain, eyes and bones -- and can even be fatal. The good news is, once it's diagnosed, syphilis can easily be treated with antibiotics.
Learn more about the effect this disease has had on the Black community at Essence.com.