What is Syphilis?

Dec. 10, 2023

A cluster of cases of ocular syphilis has been recently reported in Michigan, US.

About Syphilis:

  • It is a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI).
  • It is caused by the bacteria, Treponema pallidum.
  • After the infection happens, syphilis bacteria can stay in the body for many years without causing symptoms. But the infection can become active again.
  • Transmission:
  • Syphilis spreads from person to person through direct contact with these sores.
  • It can also be passed to a baby during pregnancy, childbirth and sometimes through breastfeeding.
  • Symptoms:
  • Syphilis develops in stages. The symptoms vary with each stage and is often painless.
  • During the first stage, one or more sores develop on the genitals, rectum, or mouth, and are often painless.
  • During the second stage, people may get a rash and experience flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue, fever, a sore throat and muscles aches.
  • After the second stage, the symptoms of syphilis are hidden (latent stage).
  • Without treatment, syphilis can damage the heart, brain, or other organs. It can become life-threatening.
  • Treatment: Syphilis is curable with quick diagnosis and treatment. It is curable with the right antibiotics.