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Recalled eye drops are now linked to four deaths, CDC reports


May 19, 2023

The number of people with highly drug-resistant bacterial infections linked to contaminated eye drops has reached 81, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Friday.

The 81 cases, up from 68 identified in March, include 14 people who were left blind and four others who had to have their eyeballs surgically removed.

Although most infections have been confined to the eyes, the bacteria can be fatal when it enters the bloodstream. As of May 15, the CDC said, four people had died.

The infections come from a specific strain of the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa that has proven impossible control with standard antibiotics.

Prior to last year, this particular form of the bacteria had never before been reported in the United States.

Now, cases have been discovered in 18 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin. .

The initial infections started appearing last year.

The cases were first noted in Connecticut in June. Doctors in Miami began seeing these types of infections late last summer. An Ohio woman became infected in November.

Many cases occurred among groups of people living in long-term care facilities, the CDC said.

He Food and Drug Administration he has also been leading an investigation into the contaminated droplets. But the last update from the agency on the matter was on February 22.

The FDA did not respond to requests from NBC News for a more recent update.

Although many patients said they had used various brands of eye drops, only EzriCare artificial tears, as well as Delsam Pharma artificial tears and Delsam Pharma ointment, have been linked to the outbreak.

The products were manufactured by Global Pharma Healthcare in India and sold mainly online. they were remembered in february.

Both the CDC and the FDA have urged consumers to stop using any of these products.

Symptoms of an eye infection include:

  • Yellow, green, or clear discharge from the eye.
  • Pain or discomfort in the eyes.
  • Redness of the eye or eyelid.
  • Sensation of something in the eye (foreign body sensation).
  • Increased sensitivity to light.
  • Blurry vision.

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Berkeley Lovelace Jr. contributed.