Why People Should be Worried of Syphilis
WhyPeople Should be Worried of Syphilis
WhyPeople Should be Worried of Syphilis
Syphilisis a highly contagious disease that people contract through sexualintercourse with the infected partner. Close contact with a partnerinfected with this disease through sexual activities such asprolonged kissing or even anal sex causes transmission of the diseaseto another person. Such aspects make syphilis different from othersexually transmitted infections, which transmit only through actualintercourse. Usually, the infected person develops sores in the body,which mostly go unnoticed. When the sexual partner comes into bodycontact with sores, he or she gets the infection easily. Spreadingthe disease is therefore easier and fast, compared to other diseasescaused by sexual activities. In addition, people contract syphilisand live with it without noticeable symptoms, hence exposing sexualpartners to risk. In this regard, people should be worried of thecondition because of the scarce case studies, unnoticeable symptoms,irreparable damage done once a person contracts the illness, and thenumerous ways through which a person can get infected. The elementprovides the basis why people should worry about syphilis even thoughit is scarcely mentioned in the public discourse.
Themain cause of syphilis is the direct contact with sores from theinfected person during the sexual activity. Unlike other sexuallytransmitted diseases, one can contract syphilis even without vaginalsex (Janieret al., 2014).Oral sex where people engage in a prolonged kissing and anal sex canalso lead to spreading the disease. These activities expose theuninfected person to infections the moment there is direct contact.The unnoticeable sores make the infected person spread the diseaseunknowingly. Infected women can also spread the infection to theunborn babies. The unborn baby has higher chances of contracting thedisease due to high exposure since there is a constant contactbetween the mother and the child (Tipple& Taylor, 2015).The constant of the child and mother’s blood increases chances ofcontracting the disease to the unborn. Again, the dependence of thebaby on the mother makes it easier to contract the treponemapallidumbacteria, which causes syphilis. Thus, it is imperative for people tounderstand that they can get infected from any form of sex. If leftuntreated, the condition can cause lasting complications, which meansno treatment will undo any damage done.
Onthe other hand, the scarce literature relating to the illness is apredominant reason people should worry. Moreover, the condition hasnot received enough international coverage thus, most people do notrecognize the dangers associated with contracting syphilis. Theinformation available about this condition is not sufficient to raiseawareness in the public. Most people even forget about the existenceof syphilis due to lack of adequate and verifiable information on thesame. When the public has no information, it is likely to experiencehigh exposure to risk. In this case, there is a demonstrable shortageof research aimed at informing people on issues of syphilis,especially the symptoms. Most scholars give excess attention to othersexually transmitted ailments, leaving syphilis unaddressed.Consequently, people tend to take caution to prevent the transmissionof conditions such as HIV and not forget about threateningconditions. They no longer take syphilis as a serious disease, due tolack of vibrant publicity even among healthcare professionals.Significant percentage of individuals responsible for creatingawareness of contagious diseases demonstrates laxity in matters ofsyphilis. With this fact in mind, there is high exposure to risk ofcontracting and transmitting syphilis, which is an issue of concernto public health.
Syphilisis one of the critical sexual transmitted infections, whose symptomsare difficult to notice. Most people contract the ailment, stay withit for quite some times without detecting. People cannot even noticewhen they contract this disease, since symptoms take time to show andare easily confused with symptoms of other ailments. This aspectcontributes to chances of misdiagnosis, which eventually leads towrong medication. In this respect, people should worry due topossible confusion, which comes because of varied symptoms of thisparticular ailment (Patton,Su, Nelson, Weinstock, & Centers for Disease Control andPrevention, 2014).Healthcare providers can easily treat other diseases instead ofaddressing the real issue hence leaving the patient at a risk ofdelayed medication. Note that when treatment delays, the damage ofthe disease becomes worse. Most cases of syphilis end up unnoticeduntil in later stages when damage is severe and serious.
Syphilishas different symptoms depending on the stage of the disease. Thebacterial infection occurs in four main stages namely the primarystage, secondary stage, latent stage, and the tertiary stage. Thedisease progresses from one stage to another, if not treated in theearlier stage. In the primary stage, one may develop few sores, whichare usually very tiny and painless (Pattonet al., 2014).It is difficult for the patient to notice the presence of thesesores. These sores appear around the genital areas or around themouth. Sores at this stage dry and disappear without leaving visiblescars, hence making it difficult for the patient to suspect thepossibility of a disease (Clement,Okeke & Hicks, 2014).One contracts the disease few weeks, probably three, after exposureto risk. At this stage, most patients progress to the next stagewithout seeking treatment hence the reason to worry about syphilis.
Duringthe secondary stage, symptoms are slightly visible and severecompared to the primary syphilis. This stage lasts for a very shortperiod, approximately ninety days. Symptoms of secondary syphilisappear in six weeks after exposure to risk (Pattonet al., 2014).The patient experiences different symptoms such as multiple rashes onthe palms of hands and soles of the feet. Rashes may also appear onthe other body parts, though, they resemble those of other diseases(Tipple& Taylor, 2015).Other visible symptoms include the moist warts around the groin,swelling in the lymph glands, and white patches inside the mouth.Some of the invisible symptoms are persistent fever and drasticweight loss. Since these symptoms are common with other diseases,patients may undergo wrong diagnosis. The possibility of misdiagnosisdue to confusion with a different disease provides the reason toworry about syphilis.
Aftergoing through the secondary stage, the ailment goes to the latentstage. At this point, the patient may not show any symptom hence thedisease is completely unnoticeable. The patient sees no need to seektreatment especially after resolving the secondary stage unattended.Again, most patients assume that whatever symptom they may haveexperienced before was for a different disease, which has so farresolved. The passive nature of the disease at this stage is anotherreason people should worry about syphilis. In the tertiary stage, thepatient has all the reasons to seek medical attention owing to theseverity of symptoms. Patients experience challenges with brain,heart, and nerves among other extreme symptoms. If not attendedpromptly, the ailment is likely to result to impotence, paralysis,blindness, deafness, and dementia. With the proper treatment, thepatient can recover though would take longer than what he/she wouldtake while in earlier stages. The damage exceeds to different partsof the body, hence making syphilis a life-threatening disease. Thepatient would require a comprehensive treatment due to multipleeffects (Clementet al., 2014).For instance, the patient may undergo the necessary therapy fortreating paralysis and dementia besides being under medication forblindness or heart complications. In some cases, the patient mayexperience some of these symptoms permanently even after receivingtreatment for syphilis. There are patients that get permanentblindness, hence the reason to fear about this disease.
Conclusively,the exposure to risk of contracting syphilis is higher compared toother sexually transmitted diseases. Close contact with sores thatcause syphilis during oral sex, which is common and seems to have noharm is enough to transmit the disease. What make the diseasedangerous are the unnoticeable symptoms during the early stages ofsyphilis. It is easy for the care provider to misdiagnose thedisease, leaving the disease untreated. The patient is likely toignore these symptoms from the primary stage to the latent stage,only to experience severe damage later. Some of these symptoms leavethe patient with permanent damage, especially dementia and paralysis.Lack of awareness for this ailment gives people a reason to worry,particularly being scarcely mentioned in the public domain.
Clement,M. E., Okeke, N. L., & Hicks, C. B. (2014). Treatment ofsyphilis: a systematic review. Journalof American Medical Association,312(18),1905-1917.
Janier,M., Hegyi, V., Dupin, N., Unemo, M., Tiplica, G. S., Potočnik, M., &Patel, R. (2014). 2014 European guideline on the management ofsyphilis. Journalof the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology,28(12),1581-1593.
Patton,M. E., Su, J. R., Nelson, R., Weinstock, H., & Centers forDisease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2014). Primary and secondarysyphilis: United States, 2005–2013. Morbidityand Mortality Weekly Report,63(18),402-406.
Tipple,C., & Taylor, G. P. (2015). Syphilis testing, typing, andtreatment follow-up: a new era for an old disease. CurrentOpinion in Infectious Diseases,28(1),53-60.
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