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September 1995

Evaluation of Congenital Syphilis Surveillance System—New Jersey, 1993

Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(9):987-988. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690210017002

TO MONITOR disease burden and trends ASsociated with congenital syphilis (CS), effective prevention programs require a surveillance system that identifies CS cases in an accurate and timely manner. Before 1988, comprehensive CS surveillance was difficult for health departments to conduct because documentation of infection in infants required complex and costly long-term follow-up for up to 1 year after delivery; follow-up often was incomplete, and many infected infants were not identified. To estimate the public health burden of CS more accurately and eliminate long-term follow-up of infants by health department personnel, in 1988 CDC implemented a new CS case definition.1 Rather than relying on documentation of infection in the infant, the new case definition presumes that an infant is infected if it cannot be proven that an infected mother was adequately treated for syphilis before or during pregnancy.2 During 1993-1994, the Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention and Control Program of

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