2022

"Congenital syphilis rates soar across California as public health funding dwindles"


CalMatters interviewed Dr. Jennifer Wagman about research that found California has the sixth-highest rate of congenital syphilis in the U.S.

In the Central Valley, where two-thirds of the nation’s fruit and nuts are grown, the pastoral landscape masks entrenched racial and economic disparities. Life expectancy in Fresno County drops by 20 years depending on where you live, and it’s those who live in historically poor, redlined or rural neighborhoods who are most impacted by a resurgence of maternal and congenital syphilis.

“Are you familiar with syphilis?” Hou Vang, a county communicable disease specialist, asks a pregnant woman standing in the shade of a tree outside her home.

She lives with her parents in Reedley, California, a small town 30 minutes southeast of the city of Fresno, surrounded by neat rows of grapevines, orange groves and almond trees.

READ MORE

Faculty Referenced by this Article

Jennifer A. Wagman
Jennifer A. Wagman
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Gilbert Gee
Gilbert C. Gee
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Shira Shafir
Shira Shafir
Community Health Sciences Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
glik, deborah
Deborah Glik
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Philip Massey headshot
Philip Massey
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Donald Morisky
Donald E. Morisky
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Robert Kim-Farley
Robert J. Kim-Farley

Robert J. Kim-Farley, MD, MPH, is a Professor-in-Residence with joint appointments in the Departments of Epidemiology and Community Health Sciences

Community Health Sciences Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Jessica Gipson
Jessica Gipson
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Michael Goldstein
Michael Goldstein
Community Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile

Related Content

Dr. Tomas J. Aragon
May 30, 2024
CDPH Director Dr. Tomás J. Aragón to deliver 2024 commencement ceremony address for the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Dr. Aragón, the California State Public Health Officer, will speak at UCLA Fielding’s ceremony on June 14, 2024

Read Full Article
Jonathan & Karin Fielding School of Public Health sign outside of school
April 9, 2024
UCLA Fielding ranked #1 in California by peers in U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 Best Public Health Schools
Read Full Article