What is syphilis?
Many dangerous diseases are sexually transmitted. As the saying goes, trust but verify. It is impossible to know all the partners of a partner. And to streamline sexual relations is not always realistic.
One can argue for a long time about why this happens: even in the 21st century, people are faced with spicy and very dangerous sexually transmitted diseases.
Contraception, namely condoms, allows you to avoid most threats. This
simple invention inspires confidence. However, a condom is not always
Syphilis is one of those diseases that a person met in ancient times. They hurt many famous people, including Christopher Columbus, Oscar Wilde, Guy de Maupassant, Ivan Franko, Ivan the Terrible and many others. This disease has not bypassed even the clergy. Pope Julius II, Alexander VI and others were sick of her. At first, no one knew how the disease was transmitted.
Lethal outcome, ulcers, hard chancre, tissue death, scars, forced to look for an answer. And when it became clear that the source of infection is sexual intercourse, the disease began to be truly feared. Anyone who contracted it risked becoming an outcast. An epidemic began – the disease spread throughout the planet, did not spare people. Later, scientists found that even before our era they were ill with it.
But in the Middle Ages and New Time, the infection was called nothing more than a French disease. It was believed that it comes from homosexual relationships. In France, the cases were most common, and many rulers fell ill, which damaged the image of the state.
When syphilis appeared in Russia, it greatly worsened the relationship between the powers. In the 20th century, archaeologists discovered the remains of people who lived in Russia before our era and suffered from syphilis. So in vain the politicians were hostile. Nothing could stop the epidemic, it claimed many lives.
Since this infection has always been associated with prostitutes, kings, scars and the incapacity of the army of states, the name was born, as beautiful legends about the gods were born in antiquity. According to rumors, the shepherd Siphilus was cursed by the inhabitants of Olympus. He got sick and his body changed. The disease was named after him.
Peter I actively prevented its spread, Catherine II ordered the opening of special hospitals, where everyone was treated anonymously. Doctors became seriously interested in the disease and the search for treatment.
There was no other choice – the pandemic began to undermine the strength of Russia. Children were born, already sick. Entire families suffered from this scourge. The disease was beyond the bounds of decency, and it was necessary to cast aside superstition and fear.
One day there was a cure
In order to get rid of adversity, people have been looking for the right herbs for many centuries, trying to find the very remedy, the recipe that life and health will give. Over time, it became clear that herbs alleviate the fate of the patient, but they cannot expel this ailment from the body. They tried to treat with mercury, which gave the result and side effects. More than 80% of patients died. In addition, from mercury and its influence, patients experienced more severe torment than from the inaction of doctors.
In 1884, professor, dermatovenereologist Stukovenkov M.I., was the first in the world to draw up the exact formula of drugs based on mercury, which did less harm, increased the percentage of cases of complete healing. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the disease receded. Found the causative agent – pale treponema.
An active study of its properties, features and characteristics began. Since 1916 in Russia, syphilis began to be treated with mercury preparations and Salvarsan. Complex therapy allowed scientists to make a forecast with optimism. Fewer patients died, more recovered.
In the USSR, the sick were given all possible assistance, and the number of hospitals where only syphilis was treated increased dramatically. Care and attention from the authorities became an important part of therapy.
The opinion about this phenomenon began to change. The disease was still considered something shameful, and yet they tried to cure people with all their might. It was even proposed to single out an independent science – syphilidology.
The first 50 years of the 20th century, the century of brilliant inventions and progress, were full of futile efforts. Scientific experiments and searches forced to take risks. Patients with syphilis were specially infected with malaria. This made it possible to increase body temperature and slow down the course of the disease, reduce manifestations.
Although the infection is indeed sensitive to body temperature, this method of treatment did not rule out recurrence.
In 1928, Fleming A. discovered Penicillin. And this discovery made a real splash. On the basis of Penicillin began to produce the first antibiotics. In the 1940s Howard . W. Flory , Ernest Chain, Norman W. Heatley found a way to put the production of Penicillin on stream. The antibiotic has become available to the masses.
Later, in 1945, the discoverer of Penicillin and the inventors of the production method of manufacturing were awarded the Nobel Prize.
Penicillin has become a reliable assistant to physicians in the fight against infection. But even today, some cases require the use of those drugs that were treated many years ago.
Components such as arsenic and bismuth were used at the beginning of the 20th century and are still used today, giving good results.
Attitude towards illness today
The disease is practically defeated. There is no longer such a strict morality. The fact that a person led a promiscuous sex life, contracted syphilis is a problem for doctors. The patient did not put the whole of humanity under attack. Science must ensure the safety and viability of the species. Perhaps due to the sexual revolution, perhaps due to encountering other problems, most likely due to the invention of drugs, this is no longer a shameful disease. Hard chancre, tissue death, scar tissue of syphilis threatened to destroy the appearance of the species once and for all.
On the canvases of artists, you can sometimes find images of people with a new appearance. Syphilis was taken seriously, it was very feared because of the clinical picture: hard chancre, ulcers, dead body elements, chronic course, danger until the end of life, inheritance of the disease. But mankind has coped with this problem. Symptoms do not cause irrational fear when there is no threat. Photos of terrible ulcers, spots covering the skin no longer cause a feeling of panic. This is just a photo of the symptom. By the way, the person also does not feel pain.
Spots and ulcers have little effect on physical well-being. The bacterium affects the nerve endings in such a way that the carrier strives to communicate with relatives, is active and infects.
The cunning plan of bacteria has always been hindered only by the canons of beauty. Looking at a photo with a syphilitic rash, at ulcers and spots, even today one cannot say that it is beautiful, that it is normal for a person. Symbiosis is not possible. We need beauty. The spots in the photo do not cause aggression, like the mutilated faces on the canvases of artists. Photos of patients with syphilis cannot be distinguished from photos of patients with dermatitis or allergies. But spots of dermatitis and spots of venereal disease are not the same thing. Some will disappear without a trace, others will turn into scars. Dermatitis often affects the mucous membranes in the perineum – next to the anus. But venereal diseases appear on the penis, labia. So a rash on a penis or labia is certainly not an autoimmune dermatitis, most likely a virus, something infectious.
Scars on the penis, for example, and today can be considered a punishment from heaven. However, the plan of higher powers did not work in this case.
Regardless of how a person looks after a cure, their DNA is not affected. Although things could be different. If science had not dealt with syphilis, he would have been worshiped. It is not known which of the two species would have won. Today, people even know what white treponema looks like.
The disease is in severe form, in the later stages it is no longer possible to meet, although there is still a risk that a person has not gone to the hospital, lives with a bacterium in the body. In this case, he must lead a secluded lifestyle, avoid social interactions, intimacy, effectively hide symptoms from others, which is problematic.
And yet, if at the primary, secondary stage the hard chancre was hidden, and at the chronic stage it does not appear at all, the person continues to live calmly. True, this is complete social isolation and maladaptation, which is not necessary. If a hard chancre appears, and it always appears, the tissues will die off, scars will remain.
Modern medicine can do nothing with scar tissue today. This self-protection mechanism of the body is little understood. Excision of scars, laser correction – the most effective means that we managed to come up with.
A hard chancre of syphilis could once become a canon of beauty, a normal phenomenon. Today, scars and scar tissue claim this place, remaining a problem for man and mankind.
The bacterium cannot destroy in the way that it used to destroy. Timely diagnosis, surgery, strong medicines, effective preventive measures – all this improves the quality of life of people, makes life comfortable in the world of the invisible threat of microorganisms.
To date, it has been established that:
- The causative agent of the disease is pale treponema.
- The disease has different stages: there is primary syphilis, secondary, tertiary.
- There are different types: acquired and congenital.
- There are different ways of infection: sexually, through the blood, transmission by inheritance.
If the disease is not cured, it returns after a while and progresses. There is always a risk of reinfection. The human body does not have protection against bacteria; it is not necessary to count on the development of immunity. The mechanism of combating the pathogen is not inherited. The pathogen infects the fetus, sometimes the child is born, sometimes it dies.
Condoms, their invention, played an important role in the fight against syphilis. This reduced the risks, condoms helped stop the epidemic, which could destroy civilization.
How the infection enters the body
In order to survive and reproduce, white treponema needs moisture, a certain temperature and an anaerobic environment. Therefore, malaria stamps were once inoculated into a person: white treponema died from fever. She is also sensitive to cold.
Treatment by changing the temperature indicators of the environment, that is, the human body, does not give results anyway, because the microorganism changes its location, adapts. This is a living bacterium. Temperature can destroy some of the microorganisms, prevent reproduction, population growth, and the progress of the disease. But at least one representative of white treponema will survive. And as soon as the treatment stops, the person will be exhausted and exhausted, but the population of bacteria will grow again, become stronger.
This is a sexually transmitted disease, that is, the bacterium is transmitted sexually. However, it can also be transmitted through the blood, which requires caution, isolation of the patient until recovery.
Blood transfusions, the use of syringes, common hygiene products such as a toothbrush, scissors, etc. – carelessness can cause infection.
There is a risk of infection without sexual contact and contact of the bacteria with blood. Nowadays, this is impossible, but once upon a time it was a common thing, which, on the one hand, helped to overcome many negative stereotypes, change the attitude towards venereal disease for the better, and taught others about compassion.
If a person has tertiary syphilis, open sores and syphilitic gummas, white treponema can get out of them into the environment – end up on dishes, clothes, and so on.
After the white treponema has entered the body, it needs some time to manifest itself. This is usually a few days or a few weeks – the incubation period. During experiments on animals, scientists have found that it takes about three weeks before the first symptoms appear. A rash appears where the bacterium entered the body. And this is an occasion to consult a doctor immediately.
The first aid that a person provides himself on his own can delay the progress of the disease, the appearance of visible signs for several weeks.
Bacteria entering through different parts of the body reduces the incubation period.
Bacteria in the course of their life activity secrete endotoxins, the first symptoms appear – a hard chancre, lymph nodes may increase. A syphilitic rash is concentrated in the place where the bacterium has entered and spreads through the internal organs, affecting the cells of the lymph nodes.
A syphilitic rash is not only spots. The cell membrane changes its natural structure, a hard chancre, nodes, tumors appear, which transform into scars. The body defends itself. Scar tissue cells have a special structure, are not so tender. So, a syphilitic rash, skin manifestations of syphilis is not a mark of higher powers, as was previously believed. This is an attempt to adapt to the environment, to develop immunity.
At the stage of primary syphilis, a diagnosis is made and treatment begins. This stage lasts 6-7 weeks. The general state of health, the immune system, individual characteristics determine the symptoms and course. If treatment does not give the desired result at the stage of primary syphilis, a secondary one develops.
Secondary stage and its features
This stage is characterized by extensive lesions of the mucous membranes and the nervous system. White treponema subjugates the body of the carrier, dominates, parasitizes. The immune system cannot adapt, it looks for an antidote and does not find it. The body, by and large, has no weapons in stock, except for the temperature. The inhabitants of Ecuador, however, used a plant such as sarsaparilla in the fight against bacteria. Food and the environment helped cure the attack.
Treatment with it involved the rejection of food and water. According to the rules of therapy, for some time it is impossible to consume anything from the environment other than this plant and medicines prepared from it. Its mass use in the Middle Ages was difficult, because not everyone knew about the recipe. Its effectiveness was in doubt, miracles did not happen. Something else was needed, and chemistry came to the rescue.
According to the form of manifestation, secondary syphilis is divided into recurrent, fresh or latent. In any case, the stage is characterized by the appearance of malaise, among other things, the temperature rises. Sometimes the rash is completely concentrated on the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, does not spread over the surface of the body.
Secondary syphilis is the stage at which the bacterium is looking for an optimal place for itself in the body and tries to settle in different tissues.
The focus of inflammation disappears, the body is completely ill. There is a risk of developing the so-called neurosyphilis, in which the bacterium learns to exist in the cells of the tissues of the blood vessels and in the cells of the brain tissues.
Neurosyphilis may appear 2-3 years after the infection passes to the second stage. In terms of symptoms and course, it resembles other diseases that are characterized by inflammation in these tissues: it cannot be distinguished at first glance from meningitis.
Features of the tertiary stage
This is the chronic stage. There are practically no symptoms. The bacterium lives in the body, coexists. There is no point in killing the carrier right away, the person needs to restore strength. The population may behave differently. In some cases, the bacteria never again seek dominance.
Symbiosis becomes the main type of relationship. And sometimes new symptoms appear, more severe than in the case of primary and secondary syphilis. What it depends on is hard to say. White treponema decides everything on its own.
Sometimes her aggression in the tertiary stage is a reaction to treatment, sometimes she seeks to get into a different environment.
Often a person with tertiary syphilis lives another 20-30 years. Symptoms of a violent attack of the bacterial population at this stage are damage to the tissues of the aorta, brain, bone marrow, bone tissues, and late neurosyphilis.
The bacterium sometimes seeks to kill the carrier, because the human corpse is also a source for infection. When a person dies, the life of the population is just beginning. The disease is also easily transmitted through breast milk, with sperm.
Sweat and other waste products do not pose a threat, according to available information. But saliva, if the oral cavity is affected, is a threat. White treponema is a very dangerous microorganism for humans.