noun plural but singular or plural in construction \ˈyz\

Definition of YAWS

:  a contagious tropical disease caused by a spirochete (Treponema pertenue) closely resembling the causative agent of syphilis and marked by infectious ulcerative skin lesions with later bone involvement —called also frambesia

Origin of YAWS

probably from an English-based creole of the Caribbean
First Known Use: 1679

Rhymes with YAWS


noun plural but singular or plural in construction \ˈyz\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of YAWS

: an infectious contagious tropical disease that is caused by a spirochete of the genus Treponema (T. pertenue) and that is characterized by a primary ulcerating lesion on the skin followed by a secondary stage in which ulcers develop all over the body and by a third stage in which the bones are involved—called also frambesia, pian


   (Concise Encyclopedia)

Contagious tropical disease, caused by a variant of the spirochete that causes syphilis. Yaws spreads mainly by discharge from skin sores, not sexual activity. It is common in children, who usually become immune. In the first stage, a skin sore starts as a wartlike thickening, cracks open, leaks fluid, and bleeds easily. A month or more later, multiple sores erupt. The third stage (much rarer than in syphilis) involves destruction of skin, mucous membranes, and bones. Penicillin cures early-stage yaws. Prevention requires isolation and prompt treatment and personal and group hygiene.

Variants of YAWS

yaws or frambesia


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