Syphilis is a vertically or sexually transmitted infection caused by Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum.
In the primary stage of acquired syphilis, there is an appearance of a painless ulcer (chancre). Then in the secondary stage, there are skin rashes and sores on mucous membranes.
In the latent stage, it is asymptomatic and not communicable. It is in the tertiary or late stage that it is symptomatic but not communicable; it usually appears 10-20 years after 1st infection.
Dr Dariusz P. Olszyna, a senior consultant at the Division of Infectious Diseases, National University Hospital, Singapore, speaks to Roshini Claire Anthony on the importance of early detection to prevent the spread and complications related to sexually-transmitted infections (STIs).