Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that can also be called syphilis. It is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum that spreads through broken skin or mucous membranes of the genitals. Pregnant women can pass it on to their children so pregnant throughout analytical testing is performed to discard specific. It is contracted through direct contact with a syphilis sore but not by contact with toilet seats, swimming pools, hot tubs, or sharing eating utensils or clothing.
Syphilis is a disease more common in urban areas, with a peak incidence among homosexual men and more frequently in coinfected patients. The population group most infected are young adults between 15 and 25 years.
Syphilis has been called the “great imitator” because it produces symptoms and signs that can be confused with other diseases. The disease has several stages:
This disease can also be divided into early or early syphilis which includes primary and secondary and late syphilis including tertiary and quaternary.
The symptoms of syphilis are the appearance of an open sore called a chancre painless and is present on the genitals, mouth, skin, rectum or vagina. The appearance of the chancre usually occurs about three weeks after exposure, but sometimes appears later. The lymph nodes in the region become inflamed and if no treatment in a period between 3 and 6 weeks both the chancre disappears as swollen glands. Failure to properly treat the disease can progress to more advanced stages and give major complications.
Secondary syphilis phase usually occurs between 2 and 8 weeks after the chancre appears, but sometimes the two phases may occur simultaneously. Secondary syphilis is characterized by a rash that can vary in appearance and that affects skin and mucous membranes and usually causes no pain or itching. This rash usually also affect the palms and soles of the feet. At this stage there is a passage of Treponema pallidum the bloodstream so it can also appear systemic symptoms such as fever, malaise, arthralgia or myalgia, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, weight loss and fatigue.
After secondary phase enters a latent phase of syphilis in which symptoms disappear and they can last for many years. This person will still have syphilis even without any symptoms. If left untreated secondary syphilis Treponema pallidum reproduces and accumulates in various tissues such as bone, skin and mucous membranes, nerve tissue, the heart and the arteries leading to the following:
Quaternary syphilis is characterized by a condition called tabes dorsalis, more common in men, affecting the spine with altered sensitivity to incoordinaciones motor. In addition there may be an optic nerve atrophy that progresses to blindness. Quaternary Syphilis can also cause progressive dementia that begins insidiously and progresses toward excessive euphoria or deep depressions.
Pregnant women can pass syphilis to the fetus. This infection occurs in 50-90% of cases of primary and secondary syphilis and decreases to less than 30% in late latent syphilis.The transmission to the fetus can result in late abortions by altering the function of various fetal organs. In other cases the size is decreased fetal or preterm births occur.Some fetuses have no clinical congenital syphilis at birth but later develop the disease which can cause skin rashes, runny nose typical laboratory abnormalities. Children with symptoms late after two years of life, dental and skeletal alterations that may be associated with mental retardation.
Diagnosis of disease is performed with a culture of the discharge of the initial lesions or with blood tests.
The treatment of syphilis is based on penicillin but the doses required for its cure depend on the period in which the disease is. Sometimes out a few hours of starting treatment can occur at the same reaction as malaise, fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, called Jarisch-Herxheimer. Sexual partners also be treated by the high power contagious disease. The cure of the disease should be confirmed by blood tests. Like all STDs the main prevention of this disease is by using condoms during sex.