ST. LOUIS, Mo. - The Saint Louis County Department of Health has issued a health advisory to notify healthcare providers about the ocular Syphilis outbreak around the nation. Locally, one case has been confirmed and other possible cases are being investigated.

Since December 2014, at least 24 cases of ocular syphilis have been reported from California and Washington, with several other states reporting potential cases. The majority of cases have been among HIV-infected men who have sex with men; a few cases have occurred among HIV-uninfected persons including heterosexual men and women. Several of the cases have resulted in blindness.

According to officials, health care providers play a critical role in prevention and control. Prompt recognition and appropriate treatment are of paramount importance.

Neurosyphilis can occur during any stage of syphilis including primary and secondary syphilis. Ocular syphilis, a clinical manifestation of neurosyphilis, can involve almost any eye structure and may lead to decreased visual acuity including permanent blindness. 


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