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  • Direct contact with syphilitic sore also known as a chancre
    • Chancre sores appear on or around the penis, vagina, anus, rectum lips, or mouth
  • Spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex
  • Vaginal childbirth from mother to baby


The symptoms of syphilis is broken in three stages:

  • Primary
    • Within the primary stage, small painless sores will appear at the infection site.This infection site can either be on the penis, vagina, anus, rectum, tongue, or lips. It can last 3 to 6 weeks and will heal regardless of treatment. If left untreated, the infection will develop into the second stage.
  • Secondary
    • Several weeks after the chancre disappears, the symptoms of secondary syphilis will start to emerge. Symptoms can include:
      • Non itchy skin rash that appear commonly on the palm of the hands, or soles of the feet
      • Tiredness
      • Headaches
      • swollen lymph nodes
  • Latent stage
    • Afterward, syphilis will progress to a stage during which you will remain infected but show no symptoms. During the initial year of this stage, you can still transmit the infection to others. However, after a couple of years, even though you remain infected, you no longer pose a risk of passing on the infection to others.If left untreated, latent syphilis will develop into its tertiary stage.
  • Tertiary
    • The symptoms of tertiary syphilis may emerge years or even decades after the initial infection.It can affect organs such as the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, bones, skin, or blood vessels.Within this stage of syphilis, this can serious create issues such as:
      • Stroke
      • Dementia
      • Paralysis
      • Deafness
      • Skin rashes
      • Loss of coordination
      • Death

If left untreated:

If Syphilis is left untreated then it can affect major body systems that can result in death.