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Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the treponema pallidum spirochete. It can also be transmitted through the placenta to an unborn baby. There are three stages to a syphilis infection. In the first stage, symptoms include the appearance of a small sore called a chancre. There may be more than one and they are usually painless. In the second stage, there may be a skin rash that does not itch, lesions in the mucous membrane, fever, sore throat, hair loss, headaches, muscle aches, weight loss, and fatigue. In the third stage, there is damage to the internal organs. Paralysis, numbness, gradual blindness, dementia, and difficulty coordinating muscle movements may occur. In the early stages, syphilis is easily treated with penicillin or another antibiotic if there is a penicillin allergy. Antibiotics can also be used in the later stages, but it is vital that antibiotic treatment is undertaken. Homoeopathy and herbal remedies may also help.