A common chronic infectious disease that occurs mainly in the warm humid regions of the tropics with characteristic bumps on the skin of the face, hands, feet and genital area. Almost all cases of yaws are in children under 15 years of age. The organism that causes yaws is a spirochete. It is spiral shaped, as are all spirochetes, and is termed Treponema pertenue. (A different type of spirochete, Treponema pallidum, is the organism responsible for syphilis). Yaws begins when the spirochete enters the skin at a spot where it was scraped, cut or otherwise compromised. At that site a painless bump arises and grows. It is the mother yaw. The glands in that area are often swollen (regional lymphadenopathy). The mother yaw heals, leaving a light-colored scar. The mother yaw is followed by recurring ("secondary") crops of bumps and more swollen glands. These bumps may be painless like the mother yaw or they may be filled with pus, burst and ulcerate. In its late ("tertiary") stage, yaws can destroy areas of the skin and bones and joints and deform them. The palms and soles tend to become thickened and painful ("dry crab yaws"). The diagnosis of yaws comes to the fore in any child who has the characteristic clinical features and lives in an area where the disease is common. With increasing travel, a child once in the tropics may carry the disease to a more temperate clime. Confirmation of the diagnosis is by blood tests and by special (dark- field) examination under the microscope (to see the spirochete). Treatment of yaws is simple and highly effective. A single shot of penicillin cures the disease. Anyone allergic to penicillin can be treated with another antibiotic, usually erythromycin or tetracycline. Yaws is a major public health problem in the tropics. Tropical regions in Central and South America, Africa, Asia, and Polynesia are at risk for yaws. A high percentage of children can be infected. Transmission of the disease is facilitated by overcrowding and poor hygiene, in the favellas of the cities of northeastern Brazil. Yaws can be completely eradicated from an area by giving penicillin or another appropriate antibiotic to everyone in the population. This may, unfortunately, cost more than a poor country can afford. The term "yaws" is of Caribbean origin. Because the bumps of yaws look like little berries, the disease is also called frambesia (or frambesia tropica) from the French "framboise" meaning "raspberry." Other names include granuloma tropicum polypapilloma tropicum, and
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An infectious tropical disease caused by Treponema pertenue and characterized by the development of crusted granulomatous ulcers on the extremities; may involve bone, but, unlike syphilis, does not produce central nervous system or cardiovascular pathology. SEE ALSO: nonvenereal syphilis. SYN: boubas, frambesia tropica, granuloma tropicum, mycosis framboesioides, pian, zymotic papilloma. [of Caribbean origin; similar to Calinago yaya, the disease]
- bosch y. SYN: pian bois.
- bush y. SYN: pian bois.
- foot y. y. of the feet with keratoderma of the palms and soles and ulcer formation.

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yaws 'yȯz n pl but sing or pl in constr an infectious contagious tropical disease that is caused by a spirochete of the genus Treponema (T. pertenue) and that is characterized by a primary ulcerating lesion on the skin followed by a secondary stage in which ulcers develop all over the body and by a third stage in which the bones are involved called also frambesia, pian

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a tropical infectious disease caused by the spirochaete Treponema pertenue in the skin and its underlying tissues. Yaws occurs chiefly in conditions of poor hygiene. It is transmitted by direct contact with infected persons and their clothing and possibly also by flies of the genus Hippelates. The spirochaetes enter through abrasions on the skin. Initial symptoms include fever, pains, and itching, followed by the appearance of small tumours, each covered by a yellow crust of dried serum, on the hands, face, legs, and feet. These tumours may deteriorate into deep ulcers. The final stage of yaws, which may appear after an interval of several years, involves destructive and deforming lesions of the skin, bones, and periosteum (see also gangosa, goundou). Yaws, which commonly affects children, is prevalent in hot humid lowlands of equatorial Africa, tropical America, the Far East, and the West Indies. It responds well to treatment with antibiotics.

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(yawz) [from Caribbean Indian name for the disease] an endemic, infectious, tropical disease caused by Treponema pertenue, usually affecting persons under age 15, and spread by direct contact with skin lesions or contaminated fomites. The spirochete initially appears at the site of inoculation and then enters the body through abraded or otherwise compromised skin; then a painless papule appears and grows into a papilloma (mother yaw); when that heals, it leaves a scar, followed by crops of generalized secondary granulomatous papules that may relapse repeatedly. Late manifestations include destructive and deforming lesions of the skin, bones, and joints. Called also frambesia or framboesia and frambesia tropica.

Secondary lesions of yaws in a child.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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