Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- What is yaws? What are symptoms of yaws?
- What causes yaws?
- How does yaws begin and spread?
- What are developmental stages in the course of yaws?
- How is yaws diagnosed?
- How is yaws treated?
- Why is yaws a serious problem?
- Why is this disease called yaws?
- Yaws At A Glance
Why is this disease called yaws?
The term yaws is thought to be of Caribbean origin. In the language of the Carib Indian people, yaya is the word for "a sore."
Alternatively, the disease term yaws may have come from Africa where the word yaw may have meant "a berry." Because the lesions of yaws look like berries, the disease is also called frambesia (or frambesia tropica) from the French framboise, meaning "raspberry." Other older names for yaws include granuloma tropicum, polypapilloma tropicum, and thymiosis.
- Yaws is a common disease of children in the tropics.
- Yaws is a chronic, relapsing infectious illness.
- Yaws first affects the skin and later possibly the bones and joints as well.
- Yaws is caused by a bacterium, the spirochete Treponema pertenue.
- Transmission is by skin-to-skin contact. The spirochete cannot penetrate normal skin but can enter through a scrape or cut in the skin.
- Yaws is promoted by overcrowding and poor hygiene.
- Yaws (except for tertiary yaws) can be cured by a single shot of penicillin.
Last Editorial Review: 5/2/2008
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