Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that spreads from a small sore. This disease is caused by a bacterium scientifically named treponema pallidum. If the disease is not treated in its initial stages then it could cause fatalities in the future. The disease can be protected by the use of condoms. Otherwise, the symptoms include a non-itchy sore that appears on the skin. The later stages are very fatal and could cause death.
The bacteria that cause syphilis can affect the penis, the vagina or the urethra and anus. There are three stages of syphilis. These stages include the primary, secondary and the final stage. The first stage is depicted by a painless sore that appears in an area of the body. The syphilis symptoms then come and go for close to one or two years. If treatment is not availed then the disease could cause death to the patient.
Although not entirely transmitted through sexual activity, the infection can at times be passed on from one person to another through open wounds or close skin contact especially when rashes are present. The bacterium that causes the sexually transmitted infection is treponema pallidum and affects both genders in different ways.The incubation period for the disease ranges from three weeks to three months which is experienced in 3 states that is characterized by different symptoms.
Stage 1 (primary level stage)
In the first stage which is usually between 4 -12 weeks, the patient may experience painless sores which usually occur around the genital area or the mouth. These sores may go unnoticed or may be mistaken for just a simple rash and they heal completely within 4 weeks. They are hardly noticeable and most individuals will ignore the call to see a doctor or a physician.
Stage 2 (secondary stage)
During this stage, which can take up to a year to develop, the patient experiences a sore throat and skin rashes that develop at the soles of the feet or the palms of the hand. This stage is the most contagious and can be mistaken for a skin condition. Other non-specific symptoms that may be experienced in this stage are hair loss, pain in the joints and flu like illness. These symptoms disappear after a while after which the patient undergoes a hidden phase with no symptoms where the infection goes undetected unless tested by a medical specialist CITATION Ada06 \l 1033 (Winters). This can last for years after which the patient progresses to the third stage. The third stage is the tertiary stage and is the most dangerous of all.
Stage 3 (tertiary stage)
At this stage, which is regarded as the full blown infection patients may experience organ complications which affect mainly the brain, heart and may cause blindness. This stage occurs about 5-10 years after the initial infection although it cannot be passed from one person to another it is still treatable if proper medical attention is sought. The danger of this stage is that once most of the organs have been damaged, the ability for repair reduces drastically.
Pregnant mothers who are also infected with syphilis risk infecting their unborn babies. When unborn babies are infected, the condition is known as congenital syphilis which includes symptoms like skin rashes, eye problems, runny nose which can result to deafness or eye problems to the baby.
Syphilis is easily treatable through use of penicillin at all stages. Although it can go undetected, patients who experience such symptoms are encouraged to go for a blood or swab test that can ascertain the presence of the bacterial infection. Otherwise, waiting for too long might only lead to severe problems that might be unsolved or even death.
For an individual to identify whether he or she has syphilis a doctor should be sought after in order to perform tests. These tests can be done at the laboratory to check on the bacterium that causes the disease. It is advisable that if an individual is not sure of an appearing sore then he should check on a physician. Partners can be infected by the disease minus their knowledge but upon detecting that one is infected the best way to treat the disease is by administering antibiotics. Even the other partner should be informed so that the two receive treatment in advance.
It is also important to realize the fact that at the later stages of syphilis, the damage that was initially caused cannot be undone at all. Thus it is important to visit the clinic for regular medication. This will save a lot of damage that can be caused as a result of ignorance. Syphilis can be spread from pregnant woman to her unborn child or the fetus. This could lead to a problem in giving birth in what is termed as still birth. There might arise complications as a result of this disease. Therefore, early treatment should be sought to avoid futuristic problems.
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