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The WHO reports high mortality from congenital syphilis. Congenital syphilis was responsible for the death of about 200,000 children in 2016, according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO). Although the number of maternal syphilis cases declined between 2012 and 2016, congenital syphilis remains the second-leading cause of stillbirths after malaria. Syphilis infects some 6 million people each year and resulted in 661,000 cases of congenital syphilis in 2016. According to the WHO, the risk of syphilis to the fetus is minimal "if a pregnant woman, infected with syphilis, receives testing and adequate treatment with benzathine penicillin early in pregnancy." In recent years, congenital syphilis has been eliminated in 12 countries. To read the WHO report, go to