Syphilis is a very contagious sexually-transmitted disease that is typical spread through various sexual activities. It is caused by bacteria known as the Treponema pallidum.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control, syphilis was considered to be a major health threat several decades ago because it could bring about long-term complications such as brain damage, blindness, and arthritis. It was only by the end of the 1940s that an effective treatment was discovered to fight off this infection. This treatment was the antibiotic we know as penicillin.
It is important that everyone is aware of the most important things about syphilis. This infection is not passed on from one person to another just by casual contact. It cannot be contracted by touching door knobs, sitting on toilet seats, sharing eating utensils, using tubs, and more. Syphilis can only be contracted if you engage in oral, anal, or vagina sex with another person who has the bacteria.
If, unfortunately, you get afflicted with syphilis, the disease will progress in stages. The first stage is known as the primary syphilis, which is characterized by a hard, painless sore that will appear on the body part where the bacteria entered.
If diagnosis and treatment is not administered right away, the syphilis can progress on to the secondary stage, where other symptoms such as rashes, fever, weight loss, and swollen glands may occur.
If, for some reason, you still have not undergone testing and received treatment, you are at risk of getting on to the latent and tertiary stages of syphilis, where the most serious complications occur, including paralysis, heart and brain damage, impotence, and more.