Syphilis is caused by a spirochete called Treponema pallidum- a bacterium which comes appears cork-screw shaped. Medical experts have categorized this disease into several stages- the primary, secondary, latent and tertiary. The course of the disease starts with a simple chancre or sore and progresses into a systemic disease which can even cause neurological signs and symptoms if left untreated.
Syphilis was once considered an epidemic because of the lack of scientific knowledge in treating it. In the discovery of drugs such as penicillin and other related antibiotics, treating syphilis has never been as effective as it was before. However, due to the positive outcome of treating syphilis with antibiotics, many people have become so lax about and sometimes do not foresee the danger of having this disease, to the extent of ignoring it.
How it is Transmitted?
In order to understand effectively how this disease can be prevented at an early or even a null stage with preventive medicines, it is important to take a look at how the disease is transmitted.
As the term itself suggests, syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease. Being a sexually transmitted disease, it should be understood that the infection is transmitted through sexual means which includes vaginal, anal or even oral sex. Basically any contact of an infected persons mucus membrane to a healthy person’s mucus membrane creates the link to the development of syphilis
Another common method of transmitting the disease is during normal delivery of a pregnant mother to a newborn. As the newborn passes through the birth canal, the baby becomes exposed to secretions in the mucus membrane which is infectious, sometimes leading to neonatal blindness. Also, the bacteria can cross through the maternal placental barrier and may cause congenital abnormalities, both physical and mental. Cardiovascular congenital abnormalities are the most dangerous in-utero complications of syphilis in the context of a pregnant woman.
As we can conclude from the information explained above, syphilis is best prevented at a null stage. Here are some ways to prevent acquiring the said infection:
- Make use of protection during sexual intercourse. Using condoms and other protective equipments which prevents membrane contact can be employed to minimize the chances of acquiring the infection.
- Screening yourself at an early stage. If you think you are prone to developing or acquiring syphilis, it is better to have yourself screened so that you can be treated right away, if found to have one.
- Avoid having multiple partners. Staying loyal to one person can derive a lot of benefits and that includes safety and protection from acquiring sexually transmitted infections.
- Submitting yourself to periodic blood tests. This way, you can detect whether you have an active infection or monitor if the treatment has completely taken effect on your body.
It is very important to remember that, like any other kinds of diseases, everything starts at prevention. It is the best part of the chain of disease which can be done easily, yield less costs and ensure a high chance of not developing certain diseases.