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Syphilis Overview

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
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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Syphilis:

Syphilis - Causes

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Syphilis - Symptoms

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Syphilis - Treatments

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Syphilis Symptoms

What are the symptoms?

You may not notice symptoms of syphilis. Sometimes they are the same as symptoms for other infections. This can cause someone with the infection to put off seeing a doctor. And it can make it harder for a doctor to tell if you have syphilis.

The four stages of syphilis have different symptoms: primary stage, secondary stage, latent stage, and late (tertiary) stage


Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Syphilis »

Syphilis is a venereal disease caused by infection with the spirochete Treponema pallidum.

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