What’s Syphilis ?
Why is it important: because we live in south Florida
In 2013 Miami was 5th in the nation, Broward was 13th in the nation, Palm Beach County 46th in the nation for reported cases of syphilis.
Syphilis symptoms vary depending on which of the 3 stages the individual is in. In the classic presentation. During the primary stage, a painless ulcer usually appears in the genitals. This is called a chancre. During the secondary stage, a diffuse rash appears on the trunk of the body, palms and soles. During the third stage of infection individuals start to experience neurological dysfunction including, loss of balance, loss of coordination, loss of vision, and change in personality. completely asymptomatic and only identified on routine screening or in advance stages of the infection.
Who should be tested?
- Individuals with signs or symptoms of infection.
- Pregnant women – transmission to fetus causes miscarriage, still births, and multiple birth defects. If untreated the infant can be left with permanent loss of vision and hearing.
- Individuals who are high risk. Partner who has syphilis, MSM, other STI’s (HIV), multiple sexual partners.
Screening can be done with a simple blood test.