What is syphilis?
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by the Treponema bacterium. It is potentially deadly and is spread all over the world. It is often called "the great imitator" because its symptoms are often very similar to other diseases, which makes it hard to diagnose. Another factor that makes this disease so dangerous is that it can lay latent for years after the victim is first infected. If left untreated it can damage internal organs and even lead to death.
What are the statistics?
How common is this disease? In 2006, there were more than 35,000 cases, which included over 9,000 cases of primary and secondary stages. It is a young people's disease, most cases occurring among people between the ages of 20 to 39 years old. The highest incidence of syphilis occurs in women from the ages of twenty to twenty four and men from the ages of thirty five to thirty nine.
How is Syphilis transmitted?
How do you get it? Transmission occurs by direct contact with syphilis sores. Sores can appear on genitals, vagina, anus, rectum, lips and in the mouth. Transmission can occur through sex, whether vaginal, oral sex, or anal. Mothers can also transmit it to their babies while inside the womb.
However, it cannot be transmitted by contact with toilets, swimming pools, baths, clothes or cutlery. This highlights the importance of protection during sex as this is the only real method of transmission.
What are the symptoms? The dangerous thing about this disease is that there often may be no symptoms for years, but cause serious complications if left untreated. Although transmission only occurs through sores, these sores are often unrecognized for long periods of time. This makes it very easy to become a transmitter of the disease without being aware of it.
The first symptom is a single sore, called chancre, although in some cases there can be multiple sores. It can be anything from 10 days to three months before the first symptoms appear. The sore is generally a small, firm, circular, and painless. The sore will appear wherever the bacterium entered the body. This sore will heal after three to six weeks, but if left untreated it can progress to the second stage of the disease.
The second stage is characterized by an itchless skin rash that can appear immediately while the first sore, or sores, are healing, or some weeks later. The rash appears rough, is red and can appear on the palms of hands or the soles of the feet. What makes even the secondary stage hard to diagnose is that these rashes can appear in various parts of the body, be too faint to even notice or be identical to the rashes caused by other illnesses.
How is it treated? Treatment, thankfully, is simple if caught in time and consists of a simple intramuscular injection of antibiotics. This will cure someone who has had syphilis for less than a year. People who have had it for longer will require multiple shots.
The only secure method to avoid syphilis is to abstain from sex or to only practice it within a long term monogamous relationship.
*To get tested for Syphilis today at a local clinic, please call toll free 888-480-5680. No appointment is necessary.
*More information about the Syphilis test.
*Common misspellings of Syphilis are: Syphillis, Syphills, Syphillus, Syphilus, Syphlis, Syphliss, Syphllis, Syphylis, Syphyllis