|Article Type:||Brief article|
Syphilis (Demographic aspects)
|Publication:||Name: Emerging Infectious Diseases Publisher: U.S. National Center for Infectious Diseases Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 U.S. National Center for Infectious Diseases ISSN: 1080-6040|
|Issue:||Date: June, 2012 Source Volume: 18 Source Issue: 6|
|Topic:||Event Code: 310 Science & research|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: Italy; United States Geographic Code: 4EUIT Italy; 1USA United States|
From Syphilis sive morbus gallicus ("Syphilis or the French disease") (1530) by Italian physician and poet Girolamo Fracastoro. The poem tells of Syphilus, a shepherd who insulted the sun god of Haiti. In retaliation, the god sends a plague to Haiti, and Syphilus is the first victim.
The first recorded syphilis epidemic was in 1495, during the First Italian War. After the French captured Naples, disbanded soldiers spread syphilis across Europe. For nearly 500 years, scholars have argued whether Columbus brought syphilis to Europe from the New World. Recent research supports Fracastoro's New World origin for the disease.
(1.) Franzen C. Syphilis in composers and musicians--Mozart, Beethoven, Paganini, Shubert, Schumann, Smetana. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2008;27:1151-7. http://dx.doi. org/10.1007/s10096-008-0571-x
(2.) Harper KN, Zuckerman MK, Harper ML, Kingston JD, Armelagos GJ. The origin and antiquity of syphilis revisited: an appraisal of Old World pre-Columbian evidence for treponemal infection. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2011;146(Suppl 53):99-133. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.21613
(3.) Quetel C. The history of syphilis. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press; 1990.
Address for correspondence: Ronnie Henry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Mailstop E03, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA; email: email@example.com
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