Three people died and four had to undergo operations to remove their eyeballs due to bacterial infections linked to the bacteria-contaminated eye drops.the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Tuesday.
The federal agency identified 68 patients in 16 states who were infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a type of bacteria resistant to most antibiotics. Eight of them lost sight in at least one eye, and some had to receive a corneal transplant.
Most of those affected said they had used eye drops before experiencing health problems. The most cited brand was EzriCare. These drops have already been withdrawn from the market, along with artificial tears and artificial eye ointment from the pharmaceutical company Delsam Pharma.
The bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa is commonly found in water, soil and on the hands of healthy people. Infections usually occur in hospitals and affect people with weakened immune systems. Up to 37 patients have been affected by the four outbreaks in healthcare facilities, according to the CDC. This drug-resistant strain had never been seen in the country before this outbreak.
Deaths can occur when the bacteria enters the blood. Not all patients had eye infections: others had respiratory or urinary tract infections.
The CDC first warned the public about the danger of this bacteria in a January 20 statement. It is now working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state health departments to identify cases.
The CDC recommends that you seek medical attention if you experience these symptoms of an eye infection:
- Yellow, green or clear discharge from the eye
- Eye pain or discomfort
- Redness of the eye or eyelid
- Feeling that you have something in your eye (foreign body sensation)
- Increased sensitivity to light
- · Blurred vision