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Pinta


Overview :

Pinta is a skin infection caused by the bacterium Treponema carateum, a relative of the bacterium which causes syphilis. The word "pinta" comes from the Spanish and means "painted." Pinta is also known as "azula" (blue), and "mal de pinto" (pinto sickness). It is one of several infections caused by different Treponema bacteria, which are called "endemic" or "non-venereal" treponematoses.

Pinta is primarily found in rural, poverty-stricken areas of northern South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The disease is usually acquired during childhood and is spread from one person to another by direct skin-to-skin contact. The bacteria enter the skin through a small cut, scratch, or other skin damage. Once inside the skin, the warmth and moisture allow the bacteria to multiply. The bacterial infection causes red, scaly lesions on the skin.




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