One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A chronic bacterial disease that is contracted chiefly by infection during sexual intercourse, but also congenitally by infection of a developing fetus.
This is caused by the spirochaete Treponema pallidum. The infection progresses in four successive stages: primary syphilis, characterized by a chancre in the part infected; secondary syphilis, affecting chiefly the skin, lymph nodes, and mucous membranes; tertiary syphilis, involving the spread of tumour-like lesions (gummas) throughout the body, frequently damaging the cardiovascular and central nervous systems; quaternary syphilis neurosyphilis
- ‘In the second stage of syphilis, infected individuals get a rash in the mouth, the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.’
- ‘His other main interest was syphilis and he studied corneal changes in congenital syphilis.’
- ‘I know someone who had contracted syphilis and is trying to conceive, but with difficulty.’
- ‘At the turn of the century syphilis and hepatitis were also on the increase.’
- ‘Late syphilis develops about ten years after first infection.’
- ‘Gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis are also serious health hazards that can be avoided by people practising safer sex.’
- ‘We did not identify any new cases of HIV infection or syphilis.’
- ‘The bacteria can also be passed through the placenta during pregnancy, this is known as congenital syphilis.’
- ‘Earlier treatment of HIV and syphilis decreases the risk of transmission to the fetus.’
- ‘Primary and secondary stage syphilis is highly infectious.’
- ‘In this stage, you have no signs of syphilis, but blood tests show that you are still infected.’
- ‘Lesions in the testis can be due to tuberculosis, syphilis, or malignancy and require urgent ultrasound examination.’
- ‘One tended to forget that syphilis is a chronic infection and that the patient can be debilitated.’
- ‘A single injection of penicillin can cure syphilis if the woman has had the infection for less than one year.’
- ‘There was also an increase in other sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis and chlamydia.’
- ‘He never married, and it is possible that as a young man he contracted syphilis during a single sexual encounter with a prostitute.’
- ‘Other less common but serious infections are also checked for, including HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B.’
- ‘Although smaller in number, incidences of gonorrhea and genital warts rose, while there was a fall in cases of herpes and syphilis.’
- ‘Screening tests for herpes simplex virus and syphilis were negative.’
- ‘Other less common causes of non-diabetic retinopathy include infections such as tuberculosis and syphilis.’
Early 18th century: modern Latin, from Syphilis, sive Morbus Gallicus, the title of a Latin poem (1530), from the name of the character Syphilus, the supposed first sufferer of the disease.
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