Caused by Bacteria Treponema Pallidum
Syphilis, also known as lues, is a major health problem caused by Treponema pallidum bacteria and is mainly transmitted through sexual contact with infected persons. Syphilis can also be transmitted from an infected mother to an unborn child.
Syphilis, whose occurrence is notable among people who engage in unprotected sexual intercourse with prostitutes, is indiscriminate. The disease affects individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Statistics show that close to 25,000 adults are infected with syphilis in the United States alone. Further, a worldwide fifty million individuals have affected annually.
Great Personalities of the Past
Quite a number of famous people have died from syphilis infection. Maurice Barrymore, a patriarch of the Barrymore family and prominent actor died in 1905 in his sleep out of syphilis. Martin Alonso, the Spanish navigator, and explorer who accompanied Christopher Columbus in 1492 on his popular voyage to “a new world” became infected with syphilis and later died of the deadly disease.
Great composers of ancient days such as Fredrick Delius, Gaetano Donizetti, Hugo Wolf, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Scott Joplin are known to have fallen victim and died of lues. Artists, celebrities and prominent personalities such as Mikhail Vrubel, Kostas Karyotakis, and Franz Schubert definitely died of syphilis.
Similar Symptoms with Other Diseases
Known to damage the brain, eyes, bones, heart, and aorta, syphilis could easily be confused for other diseases which show symptoms that are similar. Nietzsche Beethoven, Napoleon, John Keats, Al Capone, Vincent Van Gogh, Winston Churchill, Mozart, Oscar Wilde and King Henry the eighth are often thought with some level of doubt to have died of lues.
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