Syphilis
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Dreadful Disease Syphilis

 Syphilis is a disease caused by Treponema pallidum spirochete bacteria. It usually affects the genitals. Generally, the disease is transmitted sexually. In some cases, a child might get it from her mother while it is in the womb.

This disease can be cured easily if proper treatment is made. Girolamo Fracastoro who was a poet and a physician of Italy first was the first person to use the term syphilis. There were several national names of the disease like French disease, Italian disease and German disease. National names were given as the sea crews or the invading armies had sexual contact with the prostitutes in an unprotected way and spread the disease. In the1600s, it was also termed as Great Pox. The name was given as rashes like small pox were produced in the skin in the first stage. Scottish people termed this disease as Grandgore.

Causes of Syphilis

The bacteria named Treponema pallidum spirochete caused syphilis. It is a contagious disease. It spreads if a person comes in sexual contact with infected person. Sharing of towels, utensils, hot tubs and toilet seats do not spread syphilis.

Types of Syphilis

Syphilis can be classified mainly into four categories. The treatment and the symptoms depend on the type of the disease. A sore at the infected area is the sign of primary syphilis. In most of the cases, symptoms are not prominent and patient does not consult doctor. Signs of primary syphilis can be noticed after six to eight weeks from the original infection. Rashes on soles and palms are seen in this case. Latent syphilis also known as late or early syphilis do not have any symptoms. Syphilis at any stage can tend to neurosyphilis. In this case, the central nervous system is affected by the bacteria.

What Does Syphilis Look Like:

There are various symptoms of syphilis. It was very hard to identify and treat syphilis prior to the introduction of serological examination. There are generally three stages for the development of the symptoms of this disease. The symptoms might appear twelve weeks after the infection. Painless sores can appear in more than a single place in the parts that are infected. Cervix, clitoris and vulva are the place in women where the symptoms generally occur. Men have them on foreskin or penis. They can also be present near the mouth and anus of men and women. Two to six weeks are generally needed for the healing of sores. In the secondary stage, a person can have symptoms like swollen glands, loss of hair, appetite loss, and tongues with patches of white color. A person can also have rashes without any itchy feeling and tiredness caused by illness like flu. Women can have irregular growths in vulva. Growth can also be noticed around anus in men and women. Symptoms generally fade after two years or remain till twenty years.

Syphilis Treatment:

Syphilis can be cured if proper treatment is made from the first stage. Generally, it takes a penicillin course for a couple of weeks to cure this malaise. Sometimes the doctor also prescribes capsules or antibiotic tablets. The benzathine penicillin intramuscular injection is one of the most effective treatments of syphilis. It is also the earliest method that was introduced for the treatment of syphilis. Bones, eyes, brain, aorta and heart can be affected seriously for the lack of proper treatment. A patient at an early stage can be cured with single dose of penicillin. Doxycycline or tetracycline is prescribed as a substitute of penicillin to non-pregnant women if they have severe allergy to it. Latex condom should be used for preventing the spread of the disease. An alternative therapy for treating this disease is Ceftiaxone. Penicillin sensitivity tests should be made in pregnant women before prescribing the medicine. A person who had suffered from this disease should have HIV test.

Advice Regarding Syphilis

Syphilis in most of the cases is transmitted by sexual contacts. A person should practice sex in a safe way. One should take proper precautions. If a person is having the disease then he or she should not engage in any sexual contact till the disease is cured completely. Screening is advised during pregnancy to avoid the chances of passing the disease from a mother to her child.

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