(WFXR) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is turning its attention to rising syphilis cases.

Health officials say they are concerned with the number of infants born who contract the disease from their mothers.

Ten years ago, the department says there were no reported cases, but just last year, there were 17 reported cases during childbirth.

According to the VDH, “Up to 40 percent of infants born to women with untreated syphilis are stillborn or die from the infection shortly afterward.”

State Health Commissioner Colin M. Greene says syphilis will be one of the agency’s biggest post-pandemic priorities.