Congenital Syphilis

Health care providers are required by Illinois law (410 ILCS 320/1) to screen all pregnant people for syphilis infection during the first prenatal visit and during the third trimester. In the event any blood tests shall show a positive or inconclusive result, an additional test or tests shall be performed. Infants should not be discharged from the hospital unless the syphilis serologic status of the birth parent has been determined at least one time during pregnancy and preferably again at delivery.

  • Risk factors include more than one sex partner in the previous six months, evaluation or treatment for an STI, and behaviors that constitute an increased risk for an STI.
  • Any person who delivers a stillborn infant after 20 weeks gestation should be tested for syphilis regardless of risk.

The following materials are available for additional information:

CDC: Congenital Syphilis Fact Sheet

Chicago Dept of Public Health: Congenital Syphilis Information

National Coalition of STD Directors: Congenital Syphilis Screening