SLO County releases ocular syphilis advisory

April 6, 2015

eyeBy KAREN VELIE

San Luis Obispo County public health officials are asking medical professionals to look out for cases of ocular syphilis – a sexually transmitted disease that can cause blindness – after several clusters of the disease have been reported on the West Coast.

Since Dec. 2014, confirmed cases of ocular syphilis have been reported in Seattle, San Francisco and Orange County. In those cases, two people in Washington and one person in San Francisco suffered blindness.

“San Luis Obispo County had nine cases of newly diagnosed primary, secondary or early latent syphilis in 2014, and continues to see cases in 2015,” the ocular syphilis public health alert says. “With some cases reporting out of area sexual contacts, our community is at risk of seeing cases occur here as well.”

At this time, there are no confirmed cases of ocular syphilis in San Luis Obispo County. However, in the county and the state, confirmed cases of syphilis are on the rise, said Christine Gaiger, SLO County communicable disease program manager.

“Ocular syphilis is something new,” Gaiger said. “There has been an increase in cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis during the last couple years.”

According to public health officials, certain strains of the bacterium that causes syphilis are more likely to cause the ocular disease, which is currently occurring mostly among gay men.


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11 Comments

  1. MaryMalone says:

    This is a day of coincidences for me.

    In the 1970s there was a man who was admitted to Marian Hospital who was really
    ill. He was finally admitted to Marian’s ICU, and he was put on a respirator.
    The physicians and specialists could not find out what was making him so sick.

    Turned out to be ocular syphilis.

    So this manifestation of syphyllis has been going around for awhile.

    (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  2. ml1999 says:

    Millions of men already achieved blindness when they were teenagers from boxing the clown.

    (1) 9 Total Votes - 5 up - 4 down
  3. fhill123 says:

    I guess they never saw it coming.

    (5) 11 Total Votes - 8 up - 3 down
  4. Perspicacious says:

    Well, there IS a 100% inoculation available for this…don’t have sex outside of heterosexual marriage.

    (5) 23 Total Votes - 14 up - 9 down
  5. indigo1955 says:

    I am still laughing…..maybe they should have shown (in the reflection of the eye), a large (ahem) object coming toward her!!! LOL!!!

    (-11) 27 Total Votes - 8 up - 19 down
    • pasoparent5 says:

      Apparently gay men going blind is funny to you. How sad.

      (0) 28 Total Votes - 14 up - 14 down
      • indigo1955 says:

        Guess what? If you have sex with someone these days—your are taking a risk at your own expense. There are many diseases that can be transmitted-and that is simply the risk. I am unmarried–and am celibate. It is old-fashioned, but I only believe in sex within marriage. Therefore, this is not something I am worried about. If people decide to run across the freeway–I am not going to peel my heart open for them either. If they get hit by a vehicle—that was part of the risk. People are not animals with no forethought for their actions. We CHOOSE our risk level when it comes to STD’s.

        (16) 26 Total Votes - 21 up - 5 down
      • sloyal says:

        get a grip pasoparent, gay men aren’t just ‘going blind’. How about folks be more wise and have smarter sex? I pretty much know 100% I will never get ocular syphilis! If this site’s comment section hasn’t given it to me by now, I’m sure I’m good.

        (9) 19 Total Votes - 14 up - 5 down
  6. LAWMAN1 says:

    CAUTION…. This could make you a little cock eyed.

    (20) 46 Total Votes - 33 up - 13 down
    • indigo1955 says:

      I was taking a sip of coffee was I read your reply….and well, I have most of it off the monitor….Sooooooooooooooo funny!!!!!

      (1) 27 Total Votes - 14 up - 13 down

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