Public health officials across the West Coast are urging medical professionals to look out for cases of ocular syphilis – a sexually transmitted disease that can cause blindness – after two potential cases in Los Angeles recently.
On Thursday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued an advisory for primary and eye-care providers to look out for symptoms associated with the disease, which is usually a complication of primary or secondary syphilis infections.
With more than a dozen cases – most of them among gay men – reported between Seattle and San Francisco and now potentially two in Southern California, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation is calling for medical professionals to do more.
"These new cases … highlight the importance of ongoing, regular check-ups for sexually active individuals who feel they may be at risk, particularly men who have sex with men," said AHF President Michael Weinstein in a statement.
Some of the patients also are HIV positive, including six in San Francisco. In Seattle, two of the patients went blind.