Wednesday, April 9, 2008

syphilis- beware

Syphilis , contagious sexually transmitted disease caused by the spirochete Treponema pallidum (described by Fritz schaudinn and Erich Hoffmann in 1905). Although some medical historians believe that syphilis first appeared in Spain among sailors who had returned from the New World in 1493, others have concluded from archaeological evidence that syphilis probably originated in the Old World but may have been confused with leprosy. It was not widely recognized until an epidemic in Europe at the end of the 15th cent.


The most prevalent mode of transmission is by sexual contact; infection by other means is possible, but its occurrence depends upon an open wound or lesion to permit invasion of the organisms. A person with syphilitic sores has an increased chance of contracting AIDS an infected partner. An infected mother can transmit the disease to her fetus; 25% of such pregnancies end in stillbirth or death of the infant, and another 40% to 70% will result in a baby with congenital syphilis, which, if untreated, can progress to late-stage syphilis and cause serious damage to the brain and other organs.


The development of syphilis occurs in four stages. The primary stage is the appearance of a painless chancre at the site of infection (often internal) about 10 days to 3 months after contact. There are no other symptoms, and the chancre disappears with or without treatment.

The secondary stage usually begins 3 to 6 weeks after the chancre with a rash over all or part of the body. Active bacteria are present in the sores of the rash. Headache, fever, fatigue, sore throat, patchy hair loss, and enlarged lymph nodes may be present. The signs of the secondary stage will disappear with or without treatment, but may reappear over the next 1 to 2 years.

Untreated syphilis then goes into a noncontagious latent period. Some people will have no more symptoms, but about one third will progress to tertiary syphilis, with widespread damage to the heart, brain, eyes, nervous system, bones, and joints. Late syphilis can result in mental illness, blindness, severe damage to the heart and aorta, and death.

Neurosyphilis, infection of the nervous system, frequently occurs in the early stages in untreated patients. There may be no symptoms, mild headache, or severe consequences such as seizures and stroke. Its treatment and course are complicated by concomitant HIV infection.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is made by symptoms, blood tests (required by many states before issuing marriage licenses), and microscopic identification of the bacterium. Until the advent of penicillin in the 1940s, treatment for syphilis was with mercury, arsenic, and bismuth. Penicillin is the antibiotic of choice for all stages of syphilis treatment, but penicillin-resistant organisms have complicated treatment of the disease. Even late-stage syphilis can be cured, but damage that has already occurred cannot be reversed. Despite available treatment, the incidence of syphilis in the United States was on the rise until 1990. Since then it has declined sharply, from 20 to just 2.6 cases per 100,000 people from 1990 to 1998. Federal health experts have attributed the decline to prevention efforts, including those intended to curtail the spread of AIDS.

Champions League Wednesday: Nightmare At Old Trafford And Camp Nou?Real Madrid dropping points isn’t helping Barcelona one bit; it puts them under dur

Football enthusiasts happily stayed awake last night for two heart stopping see-saw encounters which sailed Chelsea and Liverpool into semis. With that backdrop, there is a fear that tonight, an early Barcelona goal and Manchester United not conceding for 30 minutes will make the rest of night predictable, academic and just for keeps.

Sir Alex’s team doesn’t really play the defensive game, and should not too – since it would stress out their injury prone defenders. Last year this time, it was an injury hit backline which cost them a Champions League finals berth, and they would be twice shy. The weekend draw means, there is no comfort atop English Premiership League with another big game coming up against Arsenal.

United will play a game of possession and knowing the tough days ahead (and that Chelsea have easier of the domestic games), will prioritize not increasing visits to the hospital ward. Trailing by two goals, Roma will get the returning Totti to lead and attack from the start.

The United midfield would need to work overtime to ensure the Italian midfielders don’t get enough time on the ball to create any rhythm. If Roma don’t score by halftime, the rest of the match will be yet another academic exercise

Real Madrid dropping points isn’t helping Barcelona one bit; it puts them under duress to win their next La Liga game in hope of catching up with leaders. Mentally, Barcelona seems to have abandoned the league and hence the scenario doesn’t suit them. Versus Getafe on Sunday, looking at it positively, they hit the post thrice, rested Samuel Eto’o mid game, didn’t concede a goal and in fact apart from one open chance towards the end, Getafe hardly troubled Victor Valdes.

I reckon they would have beaten Getafe otherwise, but once it became clear they are in a must win scenario, we saw a more cautious Barcelona - lacking ideas in unlocking a defense, players unable to run into good positions and instead thinking too hard on what next to do.

Coach Frank Rijkaard’s pre-match briefing backs this view when he openly asked supporters to rally behind the club and not go over the top after every result.

Having no reprieve from the media barrage, Rijkaard’s men will again play with the same approach – ensure they don’t concede, look out for a 1-0 scoreline and get to the semifinals (that itself will be enough to proclaim Barcelona did better this year than last).

Strange is the burden of legacy and expectations you carry - Roma is being hailed as having a successful season, Barcelona and Chelsea coaches, despite achieving similar success are called for a sack.


- Barcelona to stuff out Schalke and play a 1-0 win. Their defenders to be stretched, young guns Bojan and Iniesta to rock.

- Manchester United to win 1-0 on a night where not much drama is expected.

Newcastle Consider Metzelder Move

The Magpies' boss, Kevin Keegan, is planning to overhaul the club's struggling squad and has pinpointed the German international as player to bolster his defence.

Metzelder joined Madrid last summer from Borussia Dortmund before Schuster arrived and has struggled to hold down a place at the Bernabéu this season.

As well as various injuries, the 27-year-old has found himself behind Pepe and FabiO Cannavaro in the pecking order for a place in the centre of defence.

Keegan has recognised that his back four needs work and will be backed by club owner Mike Ashley, who wants the manager to bring back the glory days to St. James' Park.

While Metzelder is back in training, Newcastle will not make their approach official until it is clear whether or not he will appear at Euro 2008 for the German national team.