Syphilis

An infection of the corkscrew-shaped microorganism named spirochete

If left untreated, the disease will go into hiding for a while, possibly a few years. It then shows up as damage to the brain, nervous system, and circulatory system resulting in heart and vascular disease, insanity, paralysis and even death. Pregnant mothers can transfer the disease to their developing fetus causing deformities and death.

Methods of contraction

Syphilis can be transferred by sexual contact or by contact between an infected sex organ and an open cut in the skin. Also, mothers can transfer syphilis to their newborn resulting in bone deformities, blindness, facial disfigurement, or still births.

Symptoms

If you notice any of the following symptoms, you must get medical treatment immediately:

Stage 1: 10 days to 6 weeks after exposure

  • Painless sores on the genitals, rectum, tongue, lips, or mouth appear, then disappear 1 or 2 weeks later.

Stage 2: 1 week to 6 months after exposure

  • A rash spreads over the body especially prevalent on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the groin
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever and headache
  • Soreness, aching and swelling of the joints

Stage 3: a number of years after exposure

  • Heart disease
  • Mental deterioration
  • Death

Diagnosis

The blood test, VDRL(or RPR) can be requested every time you visit your doctor for a checkup.

Treatment

The disease is very curable in its early stages, so once that sore shows up, go to the doctor immediately...

  • Penicillin injections or other antibiotics for those allergic to penicillin.
  • Periodic blood tests to ensure the infection has been annihilated.

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