- Four deaths and 14 cases of vision loss have been linked to eye drops contaminated with bacteria.
- The manufacturer of the EzriCare drops issued a recall of their product in February.
- Cases of infection from the drug-resistant bacterium have been recorded across 18 states.
Two additional deaths, along with half a dozen new cases of vision loss, have been linked to eye drops contaminated with a rare strain of “extensively drug-resistant” bacteria that hadn’t been detected in the US previously.
According to a Friday update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the total number of deaths associated with the outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa as of May 15 stands at four, with 14 cases of vision loss or eye removal caused by the tainted eye drops.
The cases are linked to EzriCare Artificial Tears, which have been voluntarily recalled by their manufacturer, the India-based Global Pharma Healthcare PVT Limited.
“Patients should stop using EzriCare or Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears and Delsam Pharma Artificial Ointment pending additional information and guidance from CDC and FDA,” the CDC warned in a statement.
The latest numbers are an increase from two deaths and eight cases of vision loss or eye removal reported in March.
The CDC reported cases 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.
CDC officials said patients who have used eye drops and experience symptoms of infection “should seek medical care immediately.” Symptoms include discharge from the eye, pain, discomfort, or redness, sensitivity to light, and blurry vision.
Representatives for Global Pharma Healthcare PVT Limited and the CDC did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.