Syphilis is sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacteria known as spirochaete. If it is not treated it can become a serious problem and even cause death. It is transmitted by having unprotected sex with the infected person, incubation period lasts between 14 days and 3 months. Modern medicine allows us to detect the illness early on before it develops into a serious problem.
Early symptoms appear two to twelve weeks after the risky sexual encounter, both in men and women. First small painless wounds appear around the mouth and genital area, these last two to six weeks. Even though these wounds are receding the illness is advancing.
After six to eight weeks other symptoms start to appear, rashes and lesions around the whole body, as well as exhaustion similar to flu. These symptoms slowly go away but the illness is still advancing.
Late-stage syphilis is also known as gummous syphilis, (gummas are soft balls of inflammation that usually affect skin, bone and liver), as well as brain damage that can cause madness and eventually death.
To diagnose syphilis, a physician needs to take a blood sample at one of the lesions and have it examined. A normal blood sample may be used instead, but it will take longer to get the results.