The Signs of Syphilis

Health |

Syphilis, a parasitic infection, can damage the brain, nervous system and heart. It can be fatal. The symptoms of this sexually transmitted disease, or STD, appear in stages. Syphilis is highly contagious in the first two stages, but not in the third. Infected mothers may pass the disease on to their infants during childbirth.

First-stage symptoms occur 10 days to three months after infection:

painless open sores on or in the genitals, rectal area or mouth
enlarged lymph nodes in the area around the sores
Second-stage symptoms occur three weeks to several months later:

mild fever, rash, patchy hair loss (if untreated in the first stage)
sore throat, which may recur
Third-stage symptoms occur five to 30 years later:

Loss of balance, paralysis and dementia numbness in the legs and — though rarely — blindness. Antibiotics can cure syphilis in some cases.

If any of these symptoms appear, call your doctor for an immediate appointment for yourself and your partner.