Medical Definition of syphilis
: a chronic contagious usually venereal and often congenital disease that is caused by a spirochete of the genus Treponema (T. pallidum) and if left untreated produces chancres, rashes, and systemic lesions in a clinical course with three stages continued over many years—called also lues; see primary syphilis, secondary syphilis, tertiary syphilis
Biographical Note for syphilis
Syph·i·lus \ˈsif-ə-ləs\, literary character. Syphilus is the hero of the 1530 Latin poem “Syphilis or the French Disease,” which was written by the Italian physician and poet Girolamo Fracastoro. Syphilus is a swineherd who blasphemes a sun god and as a punishment is afflicted with a disease.
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