Increasing numbers of people in industrialized countries are at risk from permanent eye damage to their vision as a result of the sexually transmitted disease syphilis, Newsweek reports.
An international team of researchers warned about the threat in a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Syphilis rates have been on the rise worldwide in recent years. In the United States, for example, numbers have more than doubled from 2.1 cases per 100,000 people in 2000 to 7.5 cases per 100,000 in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is the highest rate of reported syphilis cases in the U.S. for about 20 years.
And around the world, reports suggest that a growing number of syphilis cases are leading to the inflammatory eye disease known as ocular syphilis, which can cause redness, blurry vision and in the worst cases vision loss, if not treated quickly.
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