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HLTB21H3 (177)
Chapter 12

Chapter 12 - Syphilis

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Health Studies
Caroline Barakat

Syphilis -The Great Pox History • 1494: King Charles Vlll of France invades Italy • Outbreak of a new epidemic in Naples • Following year mysterious affliction reported in England, France, Germany... • Columbus return from the New World to Europe Origin of the term ‘Syphilis’ • Girolamo Fracastoro (1478 - 1553) • Venetian physician • 1530 epic - Syphilis sive morbus gallicus • Poem about a shepherd boy named Syphilus who insulted a God and was punished by that god with a horrible disease Theories 1. Introduced to Europe from the New World – Columbian Theory  Written record  Skeletal remains from the Americas  The pattern of spread of the disease 2. Pre-columbian / Anti-columbian theory  Unitarian versus non-unitarian theory  Many populations of native Americans themselves were decimated by syphilis in the 16th century after the arrival of the Europeans Finding the cause • John Hunter (1728 – 1793) - Founder of scientific surgery o Undertook flawed self-experimentation o He developed the signs of syphilis and concluded the two infections were the same o He eventually died of heart problem –tertiary syphilis • Philippe Ricord (1799-1889) o Demonstrated that gonorrhoea and syphilis were different diseases o Determined the three stages — primary, secondary, and tertiary — of syphilis • Rudolph Virchow (1821-1902) o Established that syphilis was spread through the body by the blood • 1905 – Shaudinn and Hoffman – discovered the germ that causes syphilis The Tuskegee Syphilis Study • Study done on men of African American origin without informing them of their condition Etiology • Causative agent Treponema pallid
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