Syphilis can be described as a Sexually Transmitted Disease of a bacterial origin. It is caused by a certain family of bacteria called Treponema Pallidum. This disease is a highly infectious one and is transferred from one person to the other very easily.
Even one encounter of unprotected sexual intercourse is enough for a person to contract this disease from an infected person. Both men are women are equally prone to getting this problem and should be very careful while indulging in sexual activity with a person whose sexual history they are not aware of.
Syphilis can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her baby during the process of childbirth. This is why it important to undergo a check for such diseases during pregnancy so that treatment can be carried out before the baby is born.
The signs and symptoms of syphilis advance and change as the disease progresses. Doctors classify syphilis into four main stages; primary, secondary, latent and tertiary.
The symptoms that appear in a person will depend on the stage of the disease that he/she is suffering from. But usually the disease is detected in the first stage itself because the signs are hard to miss.
Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Syphilis
Chancre or Sore
One of the first signs of syphilis is the occurrence of a sore or chancre on that part of the body which was first exposed to the bacteria. This area is usually either the private parts or the mouth and face. The sore is not painful or sensitive when touched.
It has a circular shape and is slightly raised against the surface of the skin. This symptom is not accompanied by any other illness like fever etc. and usually subsides on its own after a few days or weeks. But this does not indicate that the infection has healed since it continues to spread to other parts of the body.
Flu like Symptoms
Once the sore has subsided and the disease progresses into the second stage, other signs start appearing. The patient may start experiencing body ache, pain around the eyes, headache and mild fever. The body also suffers from diminished hunger and energy needs.
The fever and headache may or may not be accompanied with skin rashes. These rashes are very different form the sores seen in the first stage. These rashes are usually seen all over the body in a peculiar maroon color.
They are not itchy or painful. The appearance may however be different in each person. It can range from being raised to flat and pus filled to small skin bumps.
If the disease is left untreated till it has reached the final stage, the symptoms can become quite serious and uncomfortable. The body temperature may rise to well above the normal range.
The lungs and liver can also become affected causing other secondary medical conditions like respiratory disorders and jaundice. The patient may also suffer from weakness and anemia.
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