Syphilis disease starts as a painless sore-typically on your genitals, rectum or mouth .Syphilis spreads from person to person via skin or mucous membrane contact with these sores.
Symptoms of Syphilis
Syphilis can be tricky and not have too many symptoms in the early stages; you may not even notice them. Some early detection can be painless sore also known as “chancre”. This sore is usually in the genital area but can also be on the mouth or anus. Even to the most experienced medical person the disease can be tricky.
Symptoms of Primary Syphilis
Primary syphilis is the first stage of syphilis. Symptoms seen in the first stage are-
A painless lesion called a chancre develops any time for 10 days to 3 months after exposure
Symptoms of Secondary Syphilis
Within few weeks of the original chancre healing, you may experience a rash that begins on your trunk but eventually covers your entire body – even the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. This rash is usually not itchy and may be accompanied by wart –like sores in the mouth or genital area- Some, people experience muscle aches ,fever ,sore throat and swollen lymph nodes .These signs and symptoms may disappear within a few weeks or repeatedly come and go for as long as a year.
Latent Syphilis-If you aren’t treated for syphilis, the disease moves from the secondary to the latent (hidden) stage when you have no symptoms. The latent stage can last for years.
Tertiary or Late Syphilis-About 15 to 30 % of people infected with syphilis who don’t get treatment will develop complications known as tertiary, or late, syphilis. In the late stages, the disease may damage your brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones and joints .These problems may occur many years after the original, untreated infection.
Congenital Syphilis-Congenital syphilis is a severe, disabling and often life threatening infection seen in infants. A pregnant mother who has syphilis can spread the disease through the placenta to the unborn infants .It is caused by the bacterium Troponemapalidium,which is passed from mother to child during fetal development or at birth .Nearly half of all children infected with syphilis while they are in the area in the womb die shortly before or after birth..
-The cause of syphilis is a bacterium called Treponemapillidum. The most common route of transmission is through contact with an infected person’s sore during sexual activity. The bacteria enter your body through minor cuts or abrasions in your skin or mucous membranes. Syphilis is contagious during its primary & secondary stages, and sometimes in the early latent period.
The preferred treatment at all stages is pencillin, an antibiotic medication that can kill the organism that causes syphilis. A single injection of pencillin can stop the disease from progressing if you’ve been infected for less than a year, you may need additional doses.
The only recommended treatment for pregnant women with syphilis is pencillin.
Treatment follows ups-
Avoid sexual contact until the treatment is completed and blood tests indicate the infection has been cured.