Syphilis is an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) caused by Treponema pallidum bacteria. This first sign of this deadly sexually transmitted infection is just a small, painless sore, which people fail to notice right away. This sore, which is medically known as chancre can appear in your rectum, in the sexual organ or even inside the mouth. Diagnosis of syphilis can be really challenging. You can get infected with this disease, without showing any signs or symptoms for several years. Nevertheless, the earlier you can spot this disease, the better it is for the patient. If kept untreated for a long time, this illness can cause major damage to the patient’s brain, heart and other major organs within the course of several years. Syphilis can only spread through direct sexual contact with the syphilitic chancres. The syphilitic bacteria cannot be transmitted by wearing another person’s cloths, sharing the toilet, or by eating in another person’s utensil.
This disease, syphilis, can be divided into four stages:
When this disease is in its latent mode, the disease remains active, but shows no symptoms and is not contagious. However, tertiary syphilis is the most destructive part of the disease. Primary syphilis occurs within three to four weeks once you are infected with this disease. It begins with a small, round sore, which is known as chancre. The chancre is painless, but it’s highly infectious. This sore appears where the bacteria entered your body, which can be your genitals, inside of your mouth or your rectum. This sore stays anywhere between 2-6 weeks.
During the second stage you can experience sore throat, skin rashes, fatigue, swollen lymph glands, aching joints, and fever and weight loss. Syphilitic rashes which don’t itch are found in palms and soles, but then again, they can appear anywhere in your body. Most people don’t notice these rashes as these symptoms go away whether or not you have received any treatment. But you still remain infected. In the latent phase, the disease remains hidden. You can remain in this stage for several years, before you progress to tertiary syphilis.
In the last and tertiary phase (generally only 15 to 30 percent patients who have not done any treatment enters this stage), which can occur after several decades after the primary infection, the manifestations of this illness can be life-threatening. Tertiary syphilitic patients often get blind, deaf, suffer from neurological disorders and even bear the pain of destruction of bones and soft tissues. Primary or secondary syphilis is easily treatable and the drug of choice for curing this disease is penicillin.