Health officials warn of blinding cases of syphilis on West Coast

(HealthDay)—Health care providers on the West Coast need to look out for syphilis that can cause blindness, public health officials say.

More than a dozen cases of ocular syphilis—most among gay men—have been reported between Seattle and San Francisco, and two more potential cases have been reported in Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Doctors and eye-care providers should be alert for symptoms of ocular syphilis, which typically occurs as a complication of primary or secondary syphilis infections, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said.

“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,” Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said in a statement, the Los Angeles Times reported.

More information: Health Highlights: March 11, 2015