Authorities in the field of public health are examining a suspected epidemic of bacterial illnesses linked to the usage of artificial tears eye drops.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated it’s investigating a highly drug-resistant strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with other state and local health authorities.
68 people in 16 states have been infected by the outbreak, with 37 instances related to four clusters of healthcare facilities.
New Strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Detected
The type causing the epidemic, VIM-GES-CRPA, has never been observed in the United States before. According to the CDC, three fatalities and many cases of vision loss have been documented, with some patients needing surgical removal of an eye.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognized EzriCare or Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears as a prevalent exposure and encouraged consumers and clinicians to cease its usage.
#CDC warns to avoid these artificial tear drops for risk of #eye #infection. https://t.co/8KWrYCxDu0 pic.twitter.com/ygDHAPNbZz
— Chapel Hill Eyecare (@CHEyecare) February 3, 2023
The maker of the EziCare brand product issued a recall, recognizing the product was sold across the country and over the internet.
Expert Opinion and Symptoms to Look Out For
Consumers who have suffered symptoms (such as yellow, greenish, or clear leakage from the eye, eye discomfort or pain, eye or eyelid inflammation, feeling a foreign object in the eye, increased light sensitivity, or blurred vision) are advised to seek medical assistance.
EzriCare Artificial Tear
CDC warns that a brand of eyedrops may be linked to drug-resistant bacterial infections https://t.co/NnQNH0hf4n
— Island Girl (@IrizarryDi) February 1, 2023
The government has not suggested testing for persons who have taken EzriCare or Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears unless these symptoms have been reported. Nonetheless, people previously prescribed these medications should see their doctors about alternatives.
Dr. Mark Rasnake, an infectious disease expert at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, told NBC News it is worrisome when a new strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria begins to spread rapidly.
The epidemic demonstrates the significance of monitoring for emerging illnesses and examining possible outbreaks immediately to avoid further spread.This article appeared in NewsHouse and has been published here with permission.