Due to Nevada's high number of congenital syphilis cases Senate Bill (SB) 304 was passed to increase syphilis testing of pregnant women. Effective July 1, 2009, SB 304 requires syphilis screening of pregnant women in the first and third trimester.
The stage of maternal syphilis during pregnancy has a direct correlation to the severity of congenital syphilis to the fetus.
Earlier stage of syphilis (primary & secondary) plus prolonged duration of exposure in utero equals an increased risk of transmission to fetus and a higher probability of severe congenital syphilis including stillbirth, neonatal death, and infant disease/deformities.
By increasing screening among pregnant women to include a first trimester syphilis test, women with syphilis would be found and treated earlier in their pregnancy. This may reduce or eliminate infection spreading to the fetus and reduce or avoid related complications.