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Is syphilis serious?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

If it's caught and treated early, syphilis is usually cured without any lasting symptoms. However, if it's left untreated, syphilis can become very serious. In the tertiary (third) stage, syphilis can start to cause complications that include severe damage to major organs. If it affects the nervous system, syphilis can cause mood and behavior changes, stroke, and even paralysis. If it affects the heart, it may lead to heart failure and other heart disease. Because of this, it's important to talk to your doctor as soon as you notice symptoms so that you can be treated and cured of the infection.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.