ONE MAN INFECTED 5 MIDDLE-AGED WOMEN LOVERS WITH EYE SYPHILIS IN MICHIGAN LAST YEAR
Apparently, the good old days when STDs were easy fodder to terrify young people from having sex weren’t scary enough. Now, like seemingly everything else, diseases of any kind seem to have new strains, new severities and new reasons to be leery of casual sex of any kind. Yet that doesn’t seem to stop people from having casual sex, safe or otherwise. And sure, I totally understand why; it’s natural and human (well, mammalian in our association) to have sex. But I must say, learning that 1, there is such a thing as eye syphilis and; 2, that one man gave it to 5 women lovers in Michigan last year is a lot for me to digest.
THIS CLUSTER OF EYE SYPHILIS INFECTIONS IS THE FIRST HETEROSEXUAL CLUSTER, EVER
Fortunately, it appears that eye syphilis is pretty darn rare. But not so fortunately, these 5 women who all had sex with the same man in Michigan is the first time there’s been a recorded “cluster” of infections from the same hetero partner. In other words, it could be about to get less rare. And there’s more to give one menopause, as the 5 women lovers were between the ages of 40 and 60. In other words, adults in their middle age who are (or were?) not as likely to have casual sex. I’m right in the middle of that number, and I must say that detail surprises me. But will we see more clusters of eye syphilis in the near future? Are they already happening now?
WILL THIS NEW STRAIN OF EYE SYPHILIS HIT YOUNGER, EVEN MORE SEXUALLY ACTIVE PEOPLE?
The 5 women had a range of symptoms shared variously between them, including headaches, blurred vision, visual floaters, sensitivity to bright light, slight hearing loss, a body rash, and peeling of skin (on the abdomen and palms of the hands). And like I theorized before, this is a new situation, one that health officials believe may indeed be a new strain of the syphilis bacterium, Treponema pallidum to be specific. All 5 of the infected women lovers were hospitalized and treated with intravenous penicillin. And the man who infected them only had early latent syphilis, which never progressed into ocular, or eye syphilis like his lovers.
If you are young there isn’t cause to panic yet; you’re not in the likely infection age range. Unless, of course, you are an intravenous drug user or have HIV.