The year 2008 saw an exponential increase in the Sexually Transmitted Disease of Syphilis in the Bay Area of California. A local newspaper report of San Francisco shows that there has been an increase of 66 percent in Syphilis patients in 2008. And in 2006 around 36,000 cases of Syphilis were reported in the whole of the country. This situation alarmed the authorities who were otherwise pleased to observe a decline in the cases of rectal gonorrhea, another STD.
When it comes to infections, STDs stand first in United States. The estimates are shocking. Around 13 million people are affected by STDs every year in the USA.
The most commonly found STDs are Genital Herpes, Chlamydia, Genital warts, Gonorrhoea, Hepatitis A B and C and Syphilis. Treponema pallidum is the bacteria behind Syphilis infections. It is spread through direct contact with a Syphilis sore occurring in external genitals, vagina, anus, or in the rectum or even on the lips or in the mouth. It becomes frightening as this infection can be spread to newborns from their mothers.
A Syphilis infection remains hidden for many years and the Syphilis sores even go unrecognized and undiagnosed for years. Syphilis infection is treated depending on its stages: Primary, Secondary and Latent. In the Primary stage, between 10-90 days after getting infected, sores called chancre begin to appear on the person’s body. This firm, round, small, and painless sore appears on the spot where the bacteria entered the body. The patient tends to ignore this and the sores may disappear without treatment leading the infection to its next stage.
The Second stage begins with rashes on the body after the disappearance of the sores. The rashes may be rough and reddish brown in the form of spots. Other symptoms like fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, patchy hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscle aches, and fatigue may accompany the rashes. Since Syphilis imitates many other diseases due to its variety of symptoms it may go undiagnosed for a long time. In the Latent stage, the bacteria are capable of bringing havoc to the patient’s body and can even cause death.
Doctors did not have to think twice to say this. It is important to take care of Syphilis sores as they can easily pave way to HIV infections. Syphilis is highly curable in its early stages and is preventable too. Sexually active men should get themselves tested for STDs regularly irrespective of whether they use other modes of protection or not.