Syphilis: The Number of U.S. Adults Reported to Have Syphilis Is Rising

Syphilis is a bacterial infection that is easy to cure in its early stages.  Since the turn of the millennium, the Center for Disease Control reports that the number of reported syphilis cases has been increasing significantly. Most of those cases occurred in people between the ages of 20 and 39 years of age.  Syphilis was highest in women from 20 to 24 years of age and in men between the ages of 35 and 39.  Syphilis is often called "the great imitator" because so many of its symptoms are indistinguishable from those of other diseases.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Syphilis?

Many people infected with syphilis do not have any symptoms for years, yet remain at risk for late complications if they are not treated:

The Initial Stage of syphillis is  marked by the appearance of a single sore called a chancre that usually appears approximately three weeks after infection. The chancre is usually firm, round, small, and painless. If treatment is not administered, the infection progresses to the secondary stage.

The Secondary Stage is characterized by additional symptoms which may include fatigue, fever, headaches, sore throat, muscle aches, weight loss and patchy hair loss. The secondary stage also is characterized by a skin rash and lesions of the mucous membrane - A painless rash will begin to appear on one or more areas of the body.  This rash often looks like rough, red, or reddish brown spots on the palms of the hands and the bottoms of the feet. However, rashes with a different appearance may occur on other parts of the body.

The Latent Stage of syphilis begins when primary and secondary symptoms disappear. Without treatment, the syphilis infection remains in the body. This latent stage can last for years.

The Late Stage of syphilis can appear 10 - 20 years after infection was first acquired.  In the late stages, the disease can damage the internal organs, including the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, and joints. Symptoms of the late stage of syphilis include difficulty coordinating muscle movements, paralysis, numbness, gradual blindness, dementia, and may be serious enough to cause death.

Because effective treatment is available, it is extremely important to understand that anyone who has had unprotected sexual contact that puts him or her at risk for STDs and should be screened for syphilis on an on-going basis.  By ordering the 8 Test Panel with you will find complete relief - your test results will be ready and viewable within three business days.