Syphilis Research Paper

974 Words 4 Pages
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that affects millions of people, worldwide. It is a highly transmittable, yet very treatable disease. If left untreated, syphilis can cause damage to the heart and central nervous system and become potentially fatal. Despite efforts to control the disease, about 56,000 new cases are reported each year in the United States. Syphilis is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. The bacterium is spread through direct contact with a syphilitic sore, also known as a chancre. Mothers can transmit the disease to their babies in utero, or even during child birth. This is referred to as congenital syphilis. Congenital syphilis can lead to stillbirth, …show more content…
Latent syphilis may last for several years. About 15% of cases of untreated syphilis result in the late stage. At this point, the disease may cause considerable harm to internal organs such as the heart, brain, and liver. Neurosyphilis may cause personality changes, irritability, and visual problems. A patient with neurological manifestations may also develop tremors or other movement problems that mimic other neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s or Huntington’s disease. This is caused by the syphilis infection attacking the central nervous system. Individuals with HIV/AIDS are at increased risk. Neurosyphilis can also lead to paralysis or death. Cardiovascular syphilis often occurs with neurosyphilis and can develop as late as 10 to 25 years after initial infection. With cardiovascular syphilis, the aorta becomes scarred and damaged, affecting the oxygen supply in blood. This can lead to heart attack or …show more content…
A simple blood test can reveal infection. Antibiotics are the primary treatment for a syphilis infection. The development of penicillin in the 1940’s was a major breakthrough in the treatment of syphilis. Before penicillin was common, mercury and even arsenic were used to combat the disease. One injection of penicillin is usually enough to cure primary or even secondary syphilis. Doxycycline and erythromycin are effective substitutions for those patients with penicillin allergy. Sometimes combinations of antibiotics, such as penicillin with doxycycline, are used as treatment for more progressed infections. Large doses of antibiotics are needed for treatment, and may cause side effects such as fever, headache, and muscle pain. These side effects, however, usually subside after a day or two. Some alternative treatments are available, but they are not very effective. In fact, it is illegal for a homeopathic therapist to claim that natural remedies will cure syphilis. Probiotics, garlic, and even acupuncture are a few natural remedies available. It is strongly encouraged that any holistic or nonpharmaceutical treatments be used as a supplement, and not an alternative to traditional medical treatment. In addition, it is important to have a healthy diet, exercise, and get plenty of sleep. Overall health and wellbeing is always beneficial when fighting

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