The symptoms of Syphilis

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection. It can be treated in the early stages with penicillin. Without treatment, syphilis can lead to neurological disorders, disability and even to death.

Symptoms of syphilis vary in each stage of the development, there are 4 stages in which syphilis progresses. Each stage is associated with different symptoms and signs.


Primary Stage

During the first stage, people may experience one or more sores at the location on the body where the infection occurred. These sores appear mostly in or around the genitals, anus, rectum or mouth. They are usually painless, round and firm and can last between 3 to 6 weeks. The sores heal whether treatment has started or not. Even though the sore will disappear, it’s crucial to get treatment to prevent the infection to progress to the secondary stage.


Secondary Stage

In the second stage, symptoms usually include fever, skin rash (on hands or bottom of the feet), headaches, weight loss, sore throat, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, or sores around the genitals.
The symptoms will also disappear on their own, with or without treatment, but the infection will go on into the latent stage.


Latent stage

During this stage there are no symptoms, but the bacteria are still alive inside the body and can still damage the brain, heart, bones and nerves. This can range between 1 to 20 years. Not everyone will enter the latent stage of the infection, some will go into the tertiary stage.


Tertiary stage

During the final stage, the syphilis infection can seriously affect the brain and the nervous system (dementia, paralysis, blindness), as well as the blood vessels and heart. Not every case of syphilis develops into the third stage. Mostly it occurs after 10 to 30 years after the start of the infection. This stage can cause very serious medical issues and can lead to death.

Siphilis is one of the most dangerous sexually transmitted diseases. Early treatment can cure and prevent long-term serious health problems.


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