According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one person has died and at least three have suffered permanent vision loss from bacterial infections that may be linked to over-the-counter eye drops.On Wednesday, the agency urged consumers to stop using EzriCare artificial tears pending an investigation. outbreak.
The majority of those affected were reported to have used preservative-free EzriCare artificial tears before becoming ill, according to Maroya Spalding Walters, head of the CDC’s antimicrobial resistance team. increase.
So far, the CDC has identified at least 55 people in 12 states. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a type of bacterium that is resistant to most antibiotics. Cases have been reported in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Three-quarters of patients said they had used artificial tears before developing an infection. Eighty-five percent of those who could remember the brand name said they had used preservative-free EzriCare artificial tears, Walters said. The CDC first warned the public of the potential danger in a statement dated January 20.
Although the infection has not been conclusively traced to eye drops, CDC is working with the Food and Drug Administration, state and local health officials to investigate the outbreak.
“To my knowledge, this is the first time these highly resistant organisms have been associated with contaminated products,” Walters told NBC News.
Eleven people developed eye infections, and at least three of them lost sight in one eye. Others had respiratory or urinary tract infections. One died when the bacteria entered the patient’s bloodstream.
It is unknown whether affected patients had underlying eye conditions such as glaucoma or cataracts.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa Bacteria are commonly found in water, soil, and even the hands of otherwise healthy people.
This type of bacteria is often resistant to standard antibiotics.
“That’s something that’s very concerning,” said Dr. Jill Weatherhead, assistant professor of tropical medicine and infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Law is no longer available.”
The drops under investigation are labeled as preservative-free.
“What that means is that there is nothing in the product that will prevent microbial growth,” says Walters.
Products can become contaminated during the manufacturing process or when the container is opened by someone who has bacteria on their skin. I’m testing to see if it matches the strains I have.
Symptoms of an eye infection
According to the CDC, people who have used eye drops should seek medical attention if they experience any of the following symptoms:
- Yellow, green, or clear discharge from the eyes.
- Eye pain or discomfort.
- Redness of the eyes and eyelids.
- Foreign body sensation in the eye (foreign body sensation).
- Increased sensitivity to light.
- blurred vision.
As of Wednesday, EzriCare Artificial Tears have not been recalled. They were sold at stores such as Amazon and Walmart.
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