Syphilis is an infection that is caused by bacteria and spread through sexual contact. After initially contracting syphilis, symptoms of bacteria that cause the disease can become dormant for decades before reactivating. Syphilis can be cured during the early stages with an injection of penicillin. If syphilis is not treated, it can cause damage to your brain, heart, and other organs, which can be life-threatening. This is why syphilis testing Los Angeles is so important.
Syphilis develops in a series of stages and symptoms will depend on what stage you are in. However, stages can overlap and your symptoms won’t always occur in any particular order. It isn’t uncommon for many to ignore the symptoms.
- Primary Syphilis
- During the first stage of syphilis, you may notice a small sore, also known as a chancre that usually appears on the area of your body where the infection entered. Typically only one chancre will appear, but some may develop several. It can be easy to overlook the chancre because they can be painless and hidden.
- Secondary Syphilis
- After the chancre heals, it may be a few weeks before you start to develop a rash on your abdomen that eventually spreads over the rest of your body. The rash probably won’t itch, but sores may appear on your genitals or in your mouth. There have been some cases where individuals experienced muscle aches, hair loss, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and fever.
- Latent Syphilis
- The latent stage can last for years with no symptoms. Symptoms may not appear, but it could also progress into the tertiary stage.
- Tertiary Syphilis
- This is the later stage of syphilis where more serious complications develop. In this stage, syphilis can damage your nerves, heart, eyes, blood vessels, brain, bones, joints, and liver.
Syphilis is caused by a bacteria known as Treponema Pallidum. The disease is transferred from person to person when contact is made with an infected person’s sore during sexual activity. It is most contagious during the primary and secondary stages and occasionally during the early portion of the latent period. It is not possible to contract syphilis from using the same items or area as an infected person, such as a bathtub, swimming pool, toilet, clothing, utensils, etc.
Syphilis is easy to cure with penecillin if detected during the early stages. If you are allergic to that option, there are other antibiotics you can take. If you’ve had the infection for less than a year, one injection of penicillin will stop the disease from progressing to the next stages. Additional doses may be necessary if you’ve had it for longer.
Since syphilis is easy to cure during the early stages, it is important to get syphilis testing Los Angeles by contacting our office at (213) 261-4090 or to schedule an appointment online.