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Cases of infectious syphilis in Queensland have exploded by 600 per cent in 15 years, killing more than a dozen babies, new data shows.

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Queensland Health also recorded five cases of babies contracting the disease in the womb from their mothers last year and four of them died, alarming experts.

It’s the greatest number of Queensland deaths from what is known medically as congenital syphilis in a single year this century.

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