Syphilis is a Sexually Transmitted Disease caused by Treponema pallidum bacteria. It can even cause dangerous consequences or even death if not attended to at an early stage. This disease is transmitted in women through sexual intercourse. In some cases, infection can also occur during pregnancy and can infect the unborn child.
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What Causes Syphilis?
The sexually transmitted Treponema pallidum bacteria cause syphilis. After entering the body, this bacterium attacks the nervous system and other body organs like the heart. If medical care is not given on time, it can even cause irreversible damage to patient’s body or even death.
Signs and Symptoms of Syphilis:
The signs and symptoms of syphilis differ according to the stage in which the infection may occur. Usually, this condition occurs after nearly 21 days. In some patients, the symptoms start showing up in 10 days to 90 days.
Syphilis occurs in 3 stages - primary, secondary as well as tertiary.
In the primary stage, one will notice just one firm and round sore without any pain. This sore is likely to go unnoticed as it won’t be painful. It lasts for about three to six weeks and will cure itself even without any treatment. But you still need to see a doctor even if the sore resolves on its own; otherwise, it will enter the secondary stage.
In secondary stage, you will notice skin rashes, as well as vaginal rashes. Moreover, sore in the vagina and anus can be seen. The reddish rash can even have certain brown spots on it. In the primary state, this rash may go unnoticed due to no pain or itching. But in the next stage, you can see brown or red spots appearing on the palms of your hands, as well as feet soles. You even get a fever in this stage and notice lymph gland swelling. Other symptoms include hair loss, weight loss, fatigue, sore throat, muscle aches, and headaches. The symptoms observed in this stage also revolve on their own even no treatment is given to the patient.
While the symptoms of primary and secondary stages die down on their own, the tertiary syphilis infection may manifest itself after 10 – 30 years of the actual infection. The symptoms in this stage are quite severe. You may observe lack of coordination in muscle movement, paralysis dementia, blindness or even numbness of certain parts of the body. Depending on the damage done to internal organs, this disease may even lead to death.
Neonatal or Congenital Syphilis
An infected pregnant woman can transmit this disease even to her unborn child. In most cases, early delivery, a low birth weight baby or even stillborn conditions are observed. In order to protect, the unborn baby, it is highly recommended to visit a medical practitioner who can diagnose the disease and provide you the best possible remedy to keep your unborn baby protected from the infection.
What Tests Are Used To Diagnose Syphilis?
For diagnosis, a blood sample is taken and sent to a lab for further examination. Another way to diagnose is by swabbing syphilis sore and sent a piece of skin for laboratory tests.
What Is The Treatment For Syphilis?
The good news is that syphilis can be cured at any stage. However, the organ damage caused by syphilis cannot be reversed. So, it’s better to start the treatment at an early stage. To treat syphilis, Penicillin antibiotic is given to the patient in primary, secondary or tertiary stage. The medicament is administered via intramuscular injections.