10 Things You Should Know About Syphilis

By at December 23, 2010 | 2:23 pm | Print

10 Things You Should Know About Syphilis

10 Things You Should Know About Syphilis
by Nguyet Truong

  1. Syphilis is a sexual transmitted disease that is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum.
  2. Syphilis was very rampant in the U.S. and was quickly becoming an epidemic until the introduction of penicillin in the 1940’s.
  3. The disease developes in three stages; the first is marked by a chancre, followed by a rash in the secondary, and lastly the tertiary stage which includes severe damage to the brain, bones, nerves, joints, eyes, and heart.
  4. Pregnant women who have syphilis can pass it to their unborn children, a condition known as congenital syphilis.
  5. Syphilis is a STD which is spread through vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse. It is extremely contagious during its first and second stages.

  6. Some symptoms of syphilis are: sores that appear where the bacterium entered the body, a rash of rough reddish or brownish spots that cover the body as well as the soles of the feet, fever, headache, sore throat, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, hair loss, seizures, dementia, blindness, and paralysis.
  7. Doctors diagnose syphilis by collecting a sample of fluid from the sore and examining it under a microscope, since the bacteria are visible under magnification. Another way to diagnose syphilis is by taking a blood sample and testing it for neurosyphilis.
  8. Treatment of syphilis involves the the use of the antibiotic penicillin.
  9. If untreated, syphilis can cause further complications to the body, such as lesions to the tissue known as gummas, which can result in paralysis, heart problems, damaged blood vessels, stroke, and eventually death.
  10. Syphilis can be prevented just by wearing a latex condom during intercourse, or not having sex with someone known to be infected with the disease. Just be cautious and suspecting of those that you plan on being intimate with.


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