Syphilis, the scourge of kings and dictators of old, is surging back
Syphilis victim? It was thought that the sexually transmitted disease that may have eventually killed Henry VIII had been wiped out long ago
Syphilis is making a comeback because of promiscuity among middle-aged men who ignore safe sex guidance, warn experts.
Cases of the sexually transmitted infection have shot up more than tenfold in the past decade.
It was thought the disease - which can cause madness, paralysis and even death in its final stages - had been largely wiped out with the advent of penicillin.
But while their great-grandparents were well aware of the dangers of syphilis, adults today are seemingly ignorant about it and aiding its spread, with hotspots in major capital cities.
The latest official figures show men in their late 30s and early 40s account for a third of cases of the initially symptomless disease, which can later cover sufferers in weeping sores.
Experts say many who contract it are likely to be divorcees returning to the dating scene, with the view that safe sex messages are only for teenagers.