Task force recommends pregnant women get screen for syphilis

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends all pregnant women get screened for syphilis.

Cases of syphilis among infants have doubled since 2012, according to the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

The task force makes recommendations about medical protocols based on all available medical evidence.

Syphilis, a sexually transmitted infection, can be safely and easily treated with a single dose of antibiotics that are safe for mother and baby, said Dr. Chien-Wen Tseng, the first Hawaii physician ever to serve on the task force.

Risks if untreated include blindness, deafness and even death of the baby.