Ocular Syphilis Outbreak: The Inflammatory Eye Disease that Can Make You Go Blind Is on the Rise

A new report has revealed that there is currently an outbreak of the ocular syphilis, which could potentially make you go blind.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there have been 12 cases of the STI complication reported between December 2014 and March 2015, while further research indicated more than 200 cases reported over the past two years from 20 US states.

This, the CDC says, is suggestive of an outbreak.

The majority of cases identified?have been among HIV-infected men who have sex with men, while a small number occurred among HIV-uninfected persons including heterosexual men and women.

With some cases even resulting in blindness, the extreme jump in cases has led the CDC to issue an advisory to all doctors to be on the lookout for the illness.

An inflammatory eye disease caused by a syphilis infection, symptoms can include redness, blurry vision, and vision loss but because many of the signs can look like a variety of other illnesses such as sore throat, headache, and skin rash, it can often go unnoticed.

“Several reported cases of ocular syphilis have resulted in significant complications, including blindness, so this highlights the importance of getting tested for syphilis according to CDC’s recommendations and making sure anyone who tests positive gets treated right away,” Alex de Voux an epidemiologist in the CDC’s department of STD prevention told?Tonic.

With prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment critical in the management of symptoms of ocular syphilis, the CDC is urging clinicians to be aware and educated but, it’s also important to know how to protect yourselves.

Syphilis is spread through direct contact with a syphilis sore, which are typically found on the vagina, penis, anus, rectum, or mouth.

In order to prevent contact, you should always use a condom or protective barrier for any and all sexual contact, including oral, vaginal and anal sex.

Article Source:?The Independent? by Sarah Young

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