Syphilis is one of the most common types of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and it was traditionally believed to be brought by the Italian navigator, Christopher Columbus to the Americas in 1493. Though, it was theorized in the early 20th century to be an old disease that suddenly became more virulent.
Read more as we are going to tackle some unusual facts about syphilis infection in today’s entry.
The Shameful Credit
Syphilis is probably the most stigmatized venereal disease in existence as no one wants to take the credit. The Germans, Italians, and Poles nicknamed it as the “French disease”, while the French people immediately returns the favor by calling it the “Italian disease”. Whatever the case, these countries don’t want anything to do with the name of this disease as much as possible.
The Cause Of The Disease
Treponema pallidum is the cause of syphilis infection. And this bacterium is also called the “great imitator” because it bears similar symptoms with other STDs.
The name of the disease is derived from a mythical shepherd named Syphilus, who insulted the god of the sum and punished him along with other people with a disgusting and new kind of disease.
Syphilis is highly contagious and is usually upon skin-to-skin contact from a person with syphilitic sores. These sores can be found in the vagina, penis, or anus. Hence, it is often transmitted during sexual intercourse. However, a pregnant woman can also pass the disease to her unborn child. And this type of syphilis is called ‘congenital syphilis’.
Catching The Disease While Sitting On A Toilet Seat Is Very Unlikely
Unless sexual contact is done on a toilet seat, it cannot be transmitted to another person as it is only possible through skin-to-skin transmission. Likewise, the disease can’t be transmitted by sharing cutlery, clothes, and crockery with an infected person as the bacteria can’t survive after being away from the body too long.
There are 4 stages of syphilis:
1st Stage – It begins with round and painless sores (chancre) which usually appears after 3 weeks of being infected and can last for up to 6 weeks.
2nd Stage – Is often accompanied by symptoms like headache, fever, weight loss, fatigue, hair loss, aching joints, and swollen lymph nodes.
3rd Stage – Also called “hidden syphilis” it is the stage when the symptoms of the disease will disappear and will remain in a state of ‘limbo’ for a couple of years before re-emerging again.
4th Stage – This stage can take up to 30 years before appearing and it is the most lethal kind of syphilis that is often accompanied by conditions like memory loss, mental illness, blindness, deafness, heart disease, and etc.
It Is Preventable And Curable
Finally, practicing safe sex or completely abstaining from sex can help prevent you from having a syphilis infection. It is also advised not to engage in sexual intercourse with different partners, sharing sex toys, and needles and to have a regular STI screening.
And if you already have it, then don’t worry as the disease can still be cured through taking antibacterial medications and penicillin injection.
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