Syphylis Essay

1911 words - 8 pages

The Progression of Syphilis to Neuro-SyphilisAbstractSyphilis is a viral infection that causes three recognized stages of disease. The spread of the virus throughout various locations in the body has associated with it a variety of symptoms and complications that are determined by the course it takes. The virus sometimes affects the central nervous system and, when it does, there is a possibility that a condition known as neurosyphilis will develop. Neurosyphilis is a collection of maladies that result from compromised function of the nervous system, detected by testing the cerebrospinal fluid. Treatment strategies must be altered to accommodate the specific obstacles associated with this variation of the disease. Neurosyphilis can be avoided with early treatment of the patient using one or more of the appropriate antibiotics.The Progression of Syphilis to Neuro-SyphilisHere is a viral infection that has confounded medical professionals consistently over the course of its history. It is transmitted in predictable ways, but the development of the disease is very difficult to predict. The virus travels throughout the body, doing its damage, and the many symptoms that occur are indicative of the course it has taken on its path of destruction. The symptoms can be subtle at times, so the problem often goes unnoticed. There are latent stages during which the disease causes no visible symptoms at all, but the injury inflicted upon a patient's internal organs continues(Oriel, 1994). Syphilis is complicated and ruthless.This is an investigation into the characteristics of syphilis and, particularly, the progression of the disease into the condition known as neurosyphilis. The first section of this report will give an overview of the epidemic, discussing its three stages, history and pathophysiology, diagnostic procedures and treatment. The last section of the report is reserved for a discussion of one case in which the patient developed neurosyphilis and the treatment that has been administered.History and PathophysiologyThere are two theories about the origin of syphilis. One is that it was present in the land now known as Haiti, and that Columbus brought it back to Europe. The other theory is that it was brought to Europe long before Columbus sailed to the Americas, having been brought from central Africa. The epidemic pervaded the continent, and was brought into India and China (Oriel, 1994). Whatever the origin, syphilis has taken its toll on many different societies throughout its history, and it is still a serious problem today.The Spirochete known as Treponema pallidum is the cause of syphilis. Infection usually occurs due to sexual intercourse with someone who already suffers from the disease. After transmission of the virus, there is a period of incubation. Once symptoms manifest, three stages of the disease are observable. If left untreated, the virus sometimes attacks the central nervous system and causes a development of the disease known as...

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