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What is the cause of the STD?Syphilis is a bacterial infection that is most often spread through sexual contact. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection disease caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum. This bacteria causes infection when it gets into broken skin or mucus membranes. Young adults ages 20-35 are the highest-risk population. Some people may be unaware that they have syphilis, so many states require tests for syphilis before marriage. All pregnant women who receive prenatal care should be screened for syphilis to prevent the infection from passing to their newborn.How does someone contract the disease?You can get syphilis by direct contact with a syphilis sore during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. You can find sores on or around the penis, vaginal, or anus, or in the rectum, on the lips, or in the mouth. Syphilis can spread from an infected mother to her unborn baby. It may not be obvious that the sex partner had syphilis. It is because syphilis sores can be hidden in the vagina, anus, under the foreskin of the penis, or in the mouth. What are the signs and symptoms of the disease?Syphilis is divided into 4 stages: primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary. A person with primary syphilis generally has a sore or sores at the original site of infection. The sores usually occur on or around the genitals, around the anus or in the rectum, or in or around the mouth. Symptoms of secondary syphilis include skin rash, swollen lymph nodes, and fever. The signs and symptoms of primary and secondary syphilis can be mild, and could possibly even go unnoticed. The latent stage has no signs or symptoms. Tertiary syphilis is associated with major medical problems. A doctor can usually diagnose tertiary syphilis with the help of multiple tests.What are the short term and long term effects on a person’s health?Without treatment, syphilis can spread to the brain and nervous system (neurosyphilis) or the eye (ocular syphilis). Symptoms include: Severe headacheDifficulty coordinating muscle movementsParalysis (not being able to move certain parts of your body)NumbnessDementia (mental disorder) Some other symptoms are:Skin rashMucous patchesMoist, warty patches called condylomataFeverGeneral ill feelingLoss of appetite Muscle and Joint painSwollen lymph nodesVision changes Hair lossTertiary symptoms develops in untreated people. The symptoms depend on which organs have been affected. Symptoms include:Damage to the heart, causing aneurysms or valve diseaseCentral nervous system disorders (neurosyphilis)Tumors of skim, bones or liver.How can the disease be treated?The disease can be treated with antibiotics, such asDoxycycline Penicillin G benzathineLength of treatment depends on how severe the syphilis is, and factors such as a person’s overall health. Several hours after getting treatment for early stages of syphilis, people may experience the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction. This process is caused by an immune reaction to the breakdown products of the infection. Signs and symptoms of this reaction include: Chills FeverGeneral ill feelingHeadacheMuscle and joint painNauseaRashThese symptoms usually disappear within 24 hours. Follow-up blood tests must be done at 3, 6,12, 24 months to ensure that the infection is gone.Is the disease curable?Yes the disease is curable. It can be cured by the right antibiotics from your health care provider. However, you can still get syphilis again. Even after you’ve been taking all the successful treatments, you can be re-infected. Until you know that your sex partner has been tested and treated, you may be at risk of getting syphilis again from a infected sex partner.Sourceshttps://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/stdfact-syphilis.htmhttps://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000861.htm