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    5 things you need to know: ocular syphilis outbreak, predicting myopia, more

    Cases of ocular syphilis on the rise on the West Coast

    Los Angeles—Healthcare professionals on the West Coast have been warned to be on the lookout for ocular syphilis after more than a dozen cases have been reported in Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles since December 2014, according to the Los Angeles Times. At least two men have gone blind after contracting the disease.

    According to the AIDS Health Foundation, many of the cases involved gay men and several of those infected are also HIV-positive. The organization is stressing the importance of regular check-ups for sexually active individuals.

    Formulary Watch: FDA grants first-ever CLIA waiver of rapid syphilis test

    Ocular syphilis is typically a complication of primary or secondary syphilis and some strains of Treponema pallidum, the bacterium that causes syphilis, may be more likely to cause eye or central-nervous-system disease. 

    A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sexually-transmitted disease (STD) surveillance report found that California’s syphilis rate was second in the U.S. only to Georgia. Los Angeles County was named in the CDC report as having the highest number of primary and secondary syphilis cases of any county in the nation.

    Next: One test can predict which kids will become myopic

    Colleen E. McCarthy
    Colleen McCarthy is a freelance writer based in the Cleveland area and a former editor of Optometry Times. She is a 2010 graduate of the ...


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