‘Common Sex Partner’ Spreads Eye Syphilis Around Michigan, CDC Claims


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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A common sex partner caused an outbreak of ocular syphilis in southwest Michigan in 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Friday.

Five women in Michigan, aged between 40 and 60 years old, all contracted syphilis of the eyes after having sex with the same man, the CDC stated in its report. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that can lead to a slew of conditions, including ocular syphilis, otosyphilis and neurosyphilis, which impacts the eyes, inner ear and nervous systems.

Public health officials first noted the cluster of cases between March and July 2022 and opened an investigation to try and stop the spread before it reached other women or potential sex partners, CDC noted. All of the women identified throughout the investigation were reportedly given intravenous penicillin, and the common male sex partner was also treated, though did not show symptoms of ocular syphilis himself.

The sex partners of all the female victims were also offered treatment, the CDC noted. The common male sex partner reportedly refused to specifically identify any other women he’d come into sexual contact with while carrying the disease. (RELATED: Horrifying Study Suggests Fungal Disease Outbreaks Will Become More Common In Humans)

The CDC noted how unusual and rare this outbreak is, suggesting there is a new strain of the virus which may have caused it. Ocular syphilis only occurs in roughly one to five percent of people infected with the virus, and can be fatal if the bacteria which causes it spreads to the spinal cord.