Syphilis (pronounced SIF-uh-lus) is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria. The highly infectious disease may also be passed, but much less often, through blood transfusions or from mother to fetus in the womb. Without treatment, syphilis can cause irreversible damage to the brain, nerves, and body tissues.
The symptoms of syphilis can mimic many diseases. Sir William Osler stated, "The physician who knows syphilis knows medicine."
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/5/2015
Scott E Rudkin, MD, MBA, RDMS
Barbara J Blasko, MD
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
James Ungar, MD
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