National Geographic : 1942 Feb
THE FOLLOWING cardinal principles govern the control-and, let it be hoped, the eventual eradi cation-of syphilis: 1. Prompt recognition of syphilis is vital. Today, no one need remain in doubt as to whether or not he has syphilis. No one should be fearful of seeking medical advice about syphilis. The disease is con tagious and can be contracted innocently. If there is the slightest suspicion that syphilis has been contracted, action should be taken imme diately. A thorough medical check-up, including a blood test and often a microscopic examination, will reveal the truth. Early symptoms usually disappear whether treat ed or not. So, many a victim is deceived into neg lecting medical attention while the disease slowly entrenches itself in one or more of the vital organs. Then, sometimes years after the initial attack has been forgotten, syphilis strikes! 2. Syphilis can be cured-but only by skillful treatment. Above all, avoid self-treatment, non-pro fessional treatment, or quack doctors. The guid ance of a reputable physician is the first dependable step toward real cure. Proper treatment, in spite of research that prom ises to shorten the period, still consists of a sys tematic series of injections given by a competent doctor, extending over a period of a year or some times more. 3. Congenital syphilis can be prevented. A blood test will indicate whether or not an expectant mother has syphilis. If the test is positive, she can take advantage of the almost certain protection medical science offers her baby. Treatment before birth is vastly more effective than treatment after the child is born. In progressive communities throughout the coun try, examinations, blood tests, and treatments are available. Infected persons who can afford private care may go to their own physicians, or to physi cians recommended by the health department or by a general hospital. Persons unable to pay for treat ment may find a free clinic by applying to the health department. If you would like additional information about syphilis-information which will enable you to help your community solve this important public health problem-send for the free Metropolitan booklet, 22-N, "The Facts About Syphilis." SIXTH NATIONAL SOCIAL HYGIENE DAY is being observed on Wednesday, February 4, 1942. The Amer ican Social Hygiene Association Headquarters, 1790 Broadway, New York City, will gladly send you litera ture and full particulars. COPYRIGHT 1942-METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE CO. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (A MUTUAL COMPANY) ti Frederick H. Ecker, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Leroy A. Lincoln, PRESIDENT 1 MADISON AVENUE, NEW YORK, N. Y. I consider syphilis the most urgent public health problem in this country today-* THOMAS PARRAN, M. D. Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service *Excerpt from the book, THE SHADOW ON THE LAND, by Dr. Parran.