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Syphilis-Houston-Surge-Doctor-Irene-Stafford-featLike so many of Dr. Irene Stafford’s impoverished and unhoused patients, the twentysomething woman showed up, in labor, at the Houston hospital having received no formal prenatal care. Stafford, a maternal and fetal medicine specialist, leaped into action and safely delivered the baby.As required by Texas law, the young woman was tested for syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease that can prove deadly to the mother and can spread to the fetus in the womb if untreated. The test results were positive, but by the time the doctors received them—many hours later—the new mother and her infant had been discharged.Stafford called the phone number provided by the patient, whom she refers to as Miss Jones to maintain her privacy. The woman who answered introduced herself as…

The post Fighting a Syphilis Surge in Houston appeared first on Texas Monthly.

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