CDC says four deaths are now linked to recalled, bacteria-tainted eyedrops
The CDC has identified 81 patients in 18 states, including Florida, with the rare strain of P. aeruginosa. This represents an increase of 13 patients since the last update.
Four people have died as part of a multistate outbreak of drug-resistant infections linked to over-the-counter eyedrops, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.
In addition, 14 people have lost vision and another 10 required surgical removal of the eyeball, the CDC said.
The CDC has identified 81 patients in 18 states, including Florida, with the rare strain of P. aeruginosa bacteria. This represents an increase of 13 patients since the last update.
Among these 13, six had specimens collected prior to the Feb. 2 manufacturer recall of products associated with this outbreak. Most of the other seven either resided in long-term care facilities with other known cases or reported use of a recalled brand of artificial tears.
The infections, including some found in blood, urine and lungs, were linked to EzriCare Artificial Tears, which is made in India by Global Pharma Healthcare. The Food and Drug Administration said the company recalled unexpired lots of EzriCare and another product, Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears.
The FDA recommended the recall based on manufacturing problems including lack of testing and proper controls on packaging. The agency also blocked import into the United States.
Most patients reported using artificial tears. Patients reported over 10 different brands of artificial tears, and some patients used multiple brands. EzriCare was the brand most commonly reported.
Patients who have used EzriCare or Delsam Pharma’s artificial tears or Delsam Pharma’s artificial eye ointment and who have signs or symptoms of an eye infection should seek medical care immediately, the CDC said.
Symptoms may include:
- Yellow, green, or clear discharge from the eye
- Eye pain or discomfort
- Redness of the eye or eyelid
- Feeling of something in your eye (foreign body sensation)
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Blurry vision