What kind of disease is syphilis and why should we talk about it? But the thing is this: it’s no secret that syphilis is transmitted sexually. Syphilis infection occurs through small defects in skin or mucous membrane in contact with erosive, or ulcerative, hard chancre, rashes on skin, mucous membranes of genitals, oral cavity containing large amount of pathogen.
Who is causative agent of syphilis?
Pale treponema or spirochete under microscope resembles wriggling spiral, and even when painted with special paint, “pale appearance” doesn`t have brightness –hence the name. Syphilis can be infected with kisses, if patient has syphilitic rashes in mouth, and partner has damage to mucous membrane. Very rarely, but still possible, infection through close household contacts, when using common utensils, personal hygiene products, bedding.
Perhaps intrauterine infection of fetus by transplacental transmission of pathogen from mother, infection at time of birth, with passage of fetus through infected birth canal, is possible. This can happen if woman isn`t registered for pregnancy, and isn`t tested for syphilis. During pregnancy, registered woman is screened for syphilis three times. The greatest danger is represented by patients in early stages, having external rashes.
How soon does syphilis manifest itself?
After 3-4 weeks, erosion (ulcer or chancre) can form at site of pathogen introduction, which can spontaneously disappear after 7-8 weeks, but disease proceeds to next stage. Rashes appear on trunk, limbs, mucous membranes. Hair, eyebrows, eyelashes may fall out. Syphilis occurs in waves – rash can appear, disappear and reappear, and doesn`t bring any sensations (itching, soreness).
Syphilis is chameleon disease
It can disguise itself as variety of skin pathologies, sometimes it has symptoms of sore throat, in later forms it can lead to diseases of bones and joints, internal organs, central nervous system (paresis, paralysis).
Blood for syphilis is examined in all patients of hospitals, pregnant women, donors, with employment in number of specialties, and then with periodic medical examinations once a year.
In order to interrupt chain of infection with syphilis, patient must declassify his sexual relations. All those who had sexual intercourse with patient with syphilis are examined, and when disease is detected, they undergo appropriate treatment, and who was in contact, but disease hasn`t yet had time to manifest, undergo preventive treatment. The sooner treatment is started, the more effective it is. Relatives and friends who live with patient need to know that they should visit skin and venereology office and have blood test for syphilis to prevent domestic infection.
Prevention of syphilis infection
It must be the following:
- Avoid random sexual intercourse.
- Use condom for casual sexual intercourse.
- Use separate dishes (wash thoroughly with soap after use).
- Use personal hygiene products.
- Avoid sexual intercourse, kisses with patients with syphilis at infectious stage. People who have had occasional sexual intercourse, no later than 1-2 hours after it, can carry out preventive treatment with disinfecting solutions of chlorhexidine, miramistin.
It`s important that people who are aware of their illness report it to their sexual partner. Don`t hesitate, if there is suspicion of illness, consult a doctor. The best prevention of syphilis can be called close relationship with permanent healthy partner.