All you need to know about Syphilis and Hepatitis

Syphilis

A bacterial infection (Treponema pallidum) – treatment is by antibiotics.

If not treated, this disease may be lethal. Although it has been spread throughout the whole world, syphilis became less frequent with the introduction of penicillin in the 1940s. Nowadays, this disease rarely enters its third stadium. Pregnant women that carry syphilis may transmit the disease to their own child already after the 10th month of pregnancy, which could cause a miscarriage or delivery of a stillborn child. If the child is born alive, it may develop symptoms of congenital syphilis (keratitis, ceratitis, saddle nose, brain damage). Routine checkups during pregnancy, it is a very rare occurrence. The symptoms of syphilis develop in 3 stadiums. The primary and secondary phases are both contagious within the next two years, while the third phase isn’t contagious at all.

Primary stadium:

•     Within 1-12 weeks after contact with the infected person;

•     A thick, painful free, and highly infectious wound on the penis or vulva (rarely on the mouth or rectum);

•     Pain-free increase of lymph excrescence on the neck and groin.

Secondary stadium:

•     6-24 weeks after the wound had occurred;

•     A rash throughout the entire body (non-itching), including palms and feet;

•     Swelling of the pinkish wet spot on the sexual organs and anus;

•     In rare cases, unequal loss of hair;

•     Raised body temperature and tiredness;

•     Headache and muscle pain.

Third stadium:

Within 10-20 years from the infection

A change of character, mental diseases, meningitis, destruction of the spinal cord (which leads to weakness and walking disruptions), aorta aneurism.

The symptoms are very serious and could cause the death of the diseased. If syphilis is suspected, the practitioner takes the smear for microscopic analysis. The diagnosis of primary and secondary syphilis can be confirmed by blood tests. If tertiary syphilis is suspected, a tap can be done for finding the antidote against bacteria inside the liver. Among the primary and secondary stadium, treatment with antibiotics usually leads to a complete recovery. The damage caused by tertiary syphilis can be permanent.

Hepatitis

A viral infection (Hepatitis B) – the existing therapy is used to reduce the symptoms.

It is proven that hepatitis B and C are spread by blood. That spread includes the spread through objects that contain the infected blood (used needles, scalpels, tattoos made by non-sterile equipment), from mother to child, and by sexual contact (although the spread of hepatitis C by sexual contact isn’t scientifically proved).

Hepatitis B is much more spread throughout Croatia, and it is 100 times more infectious than the HIV virus. Infected persons can live without any symptoms but they can develop cirrhosis and cancer.

Hepatitis C is more dangerous than hepatitis B is because it has a higher infectivity rate, it is more destructive to the liver and it causes cancer more often.

There is no effective cure for either of the diseases However, a preventive vaccination against hepatitis B does exist – for complete protection against the infection, it has to be taken 3 times. Both diseases are significantly complicated and they may cause death.

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