Awareness of Syphilis
Primary Stage: A chancre sore develops at the site of infection from two to four weeks after infection has occurred. The chancre is painless 75% of the time. The chancre starts as a dull red spot, turns into a pimple, which ulcerates, forming a round or oval sore with a red rim. The sore heals in 4-6 weeks - however, the infection is still present. The chancre is usually found on the genitals or anus, but can appear on any part of the skin.
Secondary Stage: One week to six months after the chancre heals. Pale red or pinkish rash appears (often on palms or soles) fever, sore throat, headaches, joint pains, poor appetite, weight loss, hair loss. Moist sores may appear around the genitals or anus and are highly infectious. Symptoms usually last three to six months, but can come and go.
Latent Stage: No apparent symptoms, and the carrier is no longer contagious. However, the organism is insinuating itself into the host's tissues. 50 to 70 percent of carriers pass the rest of their lives without the disease leaving this stage. The reminder pass into Last Stage syphilis.
Last Stage: Serious heart problems, eye problems, brain and spinal cord damage, with a high probability of paralysis, insanity, blindness or death.
Penicillin by injection, or a two-week regimen of tetracycline, is the standard treatment for syphilis. Two follow-up blood tests two weeks apart after ending treatment are necessary to ensure the treatment is complete. The first three stages of syphilis are completely curable, and even in the last stage syphilis can be stopped. With the present medical technology to diagnose and treat syphilis, no one should ever suffer the effects of last-stage syphilis.
Nominally sexual contact, but can be transmitted by blood transfusion or from an infected pregnant woman to her fetus.
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