Syphilis: This Chronic, infectious venereal disease begins in the mucous membranes and rapidly becomes systemic, spreading to nearby lymph nodes and the bloodstream. The infecting agent is the spirochete Treponema pallidum. Syphilis spreads by sexual contact during the primary, secondary and early latent stages of infection. For those expecting mothers who has this
disorder, it may be spread to the neonate through the placenta.
Syphilis rank the third most prevalent reportable infectious disease in the United States, and more common between the ages of 15 to 39. If left untreated syphilis leads to crippling or death. Prognosis is excellent with early treatment.
Clinical features vary with the stage of the disease:
Primary syphilis: Applies to a period of 3 weeks after contact. Patients may develop chancres - small fluid filled lesion on the genitalia, fingers, anus, lips, tongue, nipples, tonsils, or eyelids that eventually erode and develop indurated ( becomes abnormally hard), raised edges and clear bases. Regional lymphadenopathy may also occur (disease of the lymph nodes)
Secondary syphilis: Applies to a period from a few days to 8 weeks after the onset of initial chancres. Patients may exhibit a rash which can be macular (a distinguishable by color, thickening , spot), it can be papular ( a small circumscribed, solid, elevated lesion of the skin), or it could be nodular (resembling nodules), and it can be symmetrical mucocutaneous (pretaing to
mucous membrane and skin) lesions. Macules commonly erupt between rolls of fat on the trunk and, proximally on the arms, palms, soles, face, and scalp. Condylomata lata may develop it drives in warm, moist areas such as the perineum, scrotum, vulva, and between rolls of fat, the lesions may be enlarge and erode, producing highly contagious, pink or grayish white
Watch for signs of general lymphadenopathy; mild constitutional symptoms such as headache, malaise, anorexia, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and sore throat. Patient may have brittle and pitted nails, possible a low grade fever, and may have hair loss (alopecia).
Latent syphilis: Characterized by an absence of symptoms
Late syphilis: This stage includes three subtypes; late benign syphilis, cardiovascular syphilis, and neurosyphilis. Any or all may be present during this stage.
*Late benign syphilis: the typical lesion is a gumma - a chronic, superficial nodule or deep granulomatous (a tumor like mass) lesion that is solitary, asymmetrical, painless, and abnormally hard (indurated). Other symptoms may affect the liver, causing epigastric pain, tenderness, enlarged spleen, and anemia; also the patient may develop upper respiratory involvement with potential perforation of the nasal septum or palate.
*Cardiovascular syphilis: The patient may develop aortitis (inflammation of the aortic), aortic regurgitation, or aortic aneurysm, or the patient may experience no symptoms at all.
* Neurosyphilis: meningitis and widespread CNS (Central nervous system) damage, symptoms includes, general paresis (slight or incomplete paralysis ), personality changes, and arm and leg weakness.
Antibiotic therapy, treatment of choice is penicillin I.M. For early syphilis, treatment may consist of a single injection of penicillin G benzathine I.M. Syphilis of more than 1 year's duration should be treated with penicillin G benzathine I.M. for 3 weeks.
Patient who is allergic to penicillin may be treated successfully with tetracycline or erythromycin - 15 days for early syphilis; and 30 days for late infections; usually by mouth 4 times a day.
* Important to complete the course of therapy even after symptoms subside.
* Have a recheck scheduled appointment with your doctor after 3, 6, 12, and 24 months to detect a possible relapse.
* For patients who is treated for latent or late syphilis should receive blood tests at 6 months intervals for 2 years.
* Please inform your sex partner of his infection so they can receive treatment, and to prevent the spread of this disease.
Latest Article: Salmonella
What it is: Salmonellosis is an infection with a bacteria called Salmonella. The Salmonella germ is actually a group of bacteria that can cause diarrheal illness in humans. They are microscopic living creatures that pass from the feces of people or animals, to other people or other animals. There are many different...