Symptoms & Signs
About 2 – 4 weeks after infection, the person develops a sore called a “mother yaw” where bacteria entered the skin. The sore is a growth that looks like a raspberry. It is usually painless. These sores may last for months. More sores may appear shortly before or after the mother yaw heals.
Other symptoms include:
- Bone pain
- Scarring of the skin
- Swelling of the bones and fingers
In the final stage, sores on the skin and bones can lead to severe disfigurement and disability. This occurs in up to 1 in 5 people who do not get antibiotic treatment.
Diagnosis & Tests
A sample from a skin sore is examined under a special type of microscope (darkfield examination). There is no blood test for yaws. However, the blood tests for syphilis may be positive in yaws because the two conditions are closely related.
Review Date : 2/23/2010
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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