CHICAGO, Ill. (KFVS) – The Illinois Department of Public Health is launching a new provider phone line in response to an alarming increase in babies with congenital syphilis.
The IDPH is urging healthcare provides to conduct more testing for the sexually transmitted infection in advance of birth and is launching a new phone line to provide clinical consultation for providers who treat pregnant patients and newborns.
Called the Perinatal Syphilis Warmline, the service comes in response to an almost tripling in the number of congenital syphilis cases in Illinois since 2021. The number is 1-800-439-4079 and calls will be answered within a day.
According to the IDPH, congenital syphilis occurs when a pregnant person with untreated syphilis passes the infection to their infant during pregnancy. It can cause permanent damage or death to an infant. Before birth, syphilis can cause a miscarriage, premature delivery, or low birth weight.
The expansion of the Illinois Perinatal HIV Hotline to include the Perinatal Syphilis Warmline will provide clinical consultation for health care providers for syphilis in pregnancy and the newborn period, coordination of public health record searches to obtain prior syphilis testing and treatment information, and assistance with mandatory reporting. The Warmline will be available Monday through Friday.
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