Tuesday, July 18, 2023

What is syphilis? How is diagnosed and treated? Is it a contiguous disease?

 Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum

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 It is spread by sexual contact with an infected person's sore during sexual activity
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 Syphilis is contagious during its primary and secondary stages, and sometimes in the early latent period
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 The disease starts as a painless sore, typically on the genitals, rectum, or mouth
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 After the initial infection, the syphilis bacteria can remain inactive in the body for decades before becoming active again
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Syphilis infection develops in stages (primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary), and each stage can have different signs and symptoms
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 The primary sign of syphilis is usually a sore(s), which is painless and appears at the site of initial contact
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 During the latent stage of syphilis, skin lesions resolve, and patients are asymptomatic. However, serologic tests are positive for T. pallidum
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Syphilis is curable with the right antibiotics
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 The preferred treatment at all stages is penicillin, an antibiotic
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 If you've been infected for less than a year, you may need just one injection of penicillin to be cured. But you may need more doses if you've had syphilis for more than a year
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 There are no over-the-counter medications or home remedies that will cure syphilis
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Syphilis is considered to be communicable for a period of up to two years
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 If tests show that you have syphilis, your sex partners, including current partners and any other partners you've had over the last three months to one year, should be notified so they can receive testing and treatment if needed
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Remember to practice safe sex by using a condom and water-based lubricant for all types of sex
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 Women can pass syphilis infection to their babies during pregnancy, which can cause miscarriage, serious birth defects, and stillbirth
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 If you are pregnant and have syphilis, it is especially important to seek treatment because you could pass the disease on to your fetus or newborn
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If you are sexually active, have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider. Ask them if you should get tested for syphilis or other STDs. You should get tested regularly for syphilis if you are sexually active and are a gay or bisexual man, have HIV, are taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention, or have multiple sexual partners
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Citations:
[1] https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/stdfact-syphilis.htm
[2] https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/stdfact-syphilis-detailed.htm
[3] https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/treatment.htm
[4] https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/sexual-and-reproductive/syphilis
[5] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/syphilis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351756
[6] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/syphilis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351762
[7] https://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment-guidelines/syphilis.htm
[8] https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/syphilis/docs/fact_sheet.pdf
[9] https://www.pennmedicine.org/for-patients-and-visitors/patient-information/conditions-treated-a-to-z/syphilis
[10] https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2003/0715/p283.html
[11] https://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/treatment-syphilis
[12] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/syphilis
[13] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4622-syphilis
[14] https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/syphilis-tests/
[15] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/syphilis/
[16] https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/Pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=tm6404
[17] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syphilis
[18] https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/syphilis-treatment
[19] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK384905/
[20] https://www.verywellhealth.com/is-syphilis-contagious-5271648
[21] https://www.who.int/health-topics/syphilis
[22] https://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/syphilis-diagnosis
[23] https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/syphilis
[24] https://www.uptodate.com/contents/syphilis-screening-and-diagnostic-testing
[25] https://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/syphilis

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