The spread of syphilis is something that should be taken seriously. Every year, more and more people are falling prey to this extremely contagious sexually-transmitted disease. People should be aware of what syphilis is, what it can do, how to prevent it, and how to treat it.
To start off, we have to know what causes syphilis and understand what it does once it enters a person’s body.
Syphilis is an STD caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. It is known to manifest symptoms that are similar to other infections, thus earning the moniker “the great imitator.”
In the United States alone, around 40,000 cases of syphilis are reported every year and the majority of the infected patients are between the ages of 20 and 39 years old.
There are three stages of syphilis. They are the primary syphilis stage, secondary syphilis stage, and tertiary syphilis stage.
- The primary stage of syphilis happens at least a couple of weeks since exposure to the infection. During this stage, a person who has been infected with the syphilis bacteria will manifest a small, round, painless sore called a chancre. A chancre appears on the area where the syphilis bacterium has entered the body. It may appear on the skin, mouth, genitals, or some other body part.
- The secondary stage of syphilis happens around a few weeks or months since the first appearance of a chancre. During this stage, a syphilis patient experiences some more symptoms that include a headache, appetite loss, weight loss, rashes, and fever.
- The tertiary stage of syphilis is also known as the late benign syphilis. It is the final stage of syphilis and during this stage, a patient’s body has already experienced a lot of damage and harm. Several internal organs have already been affected including the blood vessels, heart, other cardiovascular organs, and even the central nervous system.
A person who manifests any of the symptoms of syphilis mentioned above is required to undergo a syphilis test so that the infection can be diagnosed. Failure to get tested for syphilis can put anyone at risk of developing severe complications that can greatly impact a person’s health.
Consult a doctor or go to the nearest medical center to get a syphilis test. That way, treatment can be administered right away if the results turn out to be positive.