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Sexual Transmitted Disease (STD)

What are the signs and symptoms in Adults?

Posted by Jhona Mark

Many people infected with Syphilis do not have any symptoms for years, yet remain at risk for late complications if they are not treated. Although transmission occurs from personswith sores who are in primary or secondary stage, many of these sores are unrecognize. Thus, transmission may occur from persons who are unaware of their infections

The primary stage of syphilis is usually marked by the appearance of a single sore (called chancre), but there may be multiple sores. The time between infection with syphilis and the start of the first symptom can range from 10 to 90 days (average 21 days). The chancre is usually firm, round, small, and painless. It appears at the spot where syphilis entered the body. The chancre lasts 3 to to 6 weeks, and it heals without treatment. However, if adequate treatment is not administered, the infection progresses to the secondary stage.

Skin rash and mucous membrane lessions characterize the secondary stage. This stage typicallystarts with the development of a rash on one or more areas of the body. The rash usually does not cause itching. rashes associated with secondary syphilis can appear as the chancre is healing or several weeks after are the chancre are healed. The characteristics rash of secondary syphilis may appear as rough, red, or reddish brown spots both on the palms of the hands and the buttoms of the feet. However, rashes with a different appearance may occur on the other parts of the body, sometimes resembling rashes caused by other disease. Sometimes rshes associated with secondary syphilis are so faint that they are noticed. In addition to rashes, symptoms of secondary syphilis may include fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, patchy hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscle aches, and fatigue. The signs and symptoms of secondary syphilis will resolve with or without treatment, but without treatment, the infection will progress to the latent and possibly late stage.

The latent (hidden) stage of syphilis begins when primary and secondary symptoms disappear. Without treatment, the infected person will continue to have syphilis even though there are no signs or symptoms; infection remains in the body. The latent stage can last for years. The late stages of syphilis can develop in about 15% of people who have not been treated for syphilis, and can appear 10-20 years after infection was first acquired. In the late stages of syphilis, the disease may subsequently damage the internal organs, including the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones and joints. Signs and symptoms of the late stage of syphilis include difficulty coordinating muscle movements, paralysis, numbness, gradual blindness, and dementia. Tis damage may be serious enough to cause death.