Officials Warn About Blinding Syphilis Cases

March 11, 2015 -- 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," AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein said in a statement, the Times reported.