Congenital syphilis is a chronic infectious disease caused by a spirochete (treponema pallidum) acquired by the fetus in the uterus before birth. Symptoms of this disease may not become apparent until several weeks or months after birth and, in some cases, may take years to appear. Congenital syphilis is passed on to the child from the mother who acquired the disease prior to or during pregnancy.
Symptoms of early congenital syphilis include fever, skin problems and low birth weight. In late congenital syphilis, the symptoms of the disease do not usually become apparent until two to five years of age. In rare cases, the disease may remain latent for years with symptoms not being diagnosed until well into adulthood.
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Understanding the symptoms and causes of syphilis can help you protect yourself. If you do have syphilis, understanding this infection can help you recognize signs of the condition and prevent transmission.
You can get syphilis by direct contact with a syphilis sore during vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
Syphilis can spread from a mother with syphilis to her unborn baby.
You cannot get syphilis through casual contact with objects, such as:
There are four stages of syphilis (primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary). Each stage has different signs and symptoms. Sores and rashes in various body part appear in different stages. The sores in the initial stages are not painful.
Other symptoms may include:
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