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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Sexually Transmitted Bacterial Infections (by ASCLS). Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Late or Tertiary Syphilis

  • Approximately15% of infected persons develop late or tertiary syphilis unless treated
  • Late syphilis or tertiary occurs 10–20 years after infection was first acquired
  • Syphilis damages internal organs: brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, and joints
  • Causes uncoordinated muscle movements, loss of feeling, paralysis, blindness that become worse over time, and dementia
  • Can cause death