Syphilis is a serious sexually transmitted disease that can affect your entire body. You can have it without knowing and pass it to others. Pregnant women with syphilis can give it to their unborn child, sometimes causing birth defects--even death.
A simple blood test can tell whether you have been exposed to syphilis. Syphilis is cured with antibiotics.
Symptoms and Signs
Syphilis has three stages.
In Stage One, a painless sore may appear at the site where the germ that causes syphilis first enters the body. This appears usually nine to 90 days after the sexual contact with an infected person.
This sore may appear around or in the vagina, on the penis, or inside the mouth or anus. Sores often go unnoticed, and may disappear on their own if not treated, but the infection is still active.
In Stage Two, a few months later, an infected person might have “flu”-like symptoms. Sometimes a rash appears on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet, or over the whole body. Symptoms may go away but the infection remains.
Stage Three is the final stage: if not treated, syphilis may cause serious health problems a few years later, such as heart disease or brain damage.
Canadian Blood Services tests every blood donation for Syphilis. Only blood that passes the test is distributed to hospitals.
Source: Health Canada