NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Syphilis diagnosis from lip ulcer. Footage of a physician diagnosing syphilis from a primary chancre (ulcer) on the lower lip of a patient. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the Treponema pallidum bacterium. The first symptom is this ulcer at the infection site. This heals after a month or two, and the secondary stage starts up to a month after this. Secondary syphilis involves a rash, headaches, pain in the bones and fatigue. This eventually subsides, and the patient appears normal. The latent stage may last for years, even decades, but can progress to tertiary syphilis with tissue death, blood vessel disease and paralysis by brain damage. First recorded in Europe in the 15th century, no effective treatment was available before 1910 and it could be fatal. Once diagnosed, all stages are treated with penicillin antibiotic drugs. This clip is from an educational film produced in 1937 by the American Medical Association and the US Public Health Service.
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