Syphilis is a STD that is caused by bacteria known as “Treponema pallidum”. Syphilis is often hard to diagnose, because it has the symptoms of many other diseases. This is why syphilis is often called “the great imitator”.
Syphilis is passed from one person to another when there is contact with the syphilis wart, or sore. These sores occur on and around the genital area, including: the anus, penis, vagina, and rectum area.
Many times these syphilis sores can be found around a person’s mouth, or on their lips. Syphilis is passed from one person to another during sex of any kind. If a woman is pregnant when she has syphilis, she can pass the STD on to her baby.
Symptoms of Syphilis
There are three stages to the symptoms of syphilis. Many of the people that have syphilis won’t have symptoms for several years, but this means that they are just as vulnerable as anyone else to the disease.
During the first stage of syphilis, there are usually one or more sores in evidence in the genital area. This sore is at first quite painless and small. It is during this first stage that syphilis is easily diagnosed and treated. Although the sore will heal on its own the syphilis bacteria will still be present and it’s important that antibiotics be taken to kill the bacteria from the body.
The second stage of syphilis is identified by a rash on the skin. This rash can occur anywhere on the body, such as on the hands, neck, or bottoms of the feet. Other symptoms during this stage of syphilis can include a fever, weight loss, fatigue, hair loss, a sore throat, and glands that are swollen. As with the first stage of syphilis, all of these symptoms can disappear on their own but the syphilis bacteria is still present and active.
The last stage of this disease can be deadly and causes severe damage to the body. The syphilis bacteria can affect the brain, liver, joints, eyes, heart, nerves, and numerous internal organs. In some cases, death occurs during this last stage of syphilis.
When syphilis is caught early enough, it is quite easy to cure. A person in the early stages of syphilis will be given an antibiotic for a certain period of time. If a person has had syphilis for longer than a year they will need a longer treatment of the antibiotic. If a person has an allergy to a certain antibiotic another one will be prescribed. It is important that a doctor is consulted in the cure of syphilis since antibiotics are the only cure that is yet known. It is important that those people that are “syphilis positive” refrain from having sex with anyone until all of the sores are completely healed and destroyed in the system.