Three dead after using eyedrops contaminated with rare superbug

Eyedrops Recall
FILE – This scanning electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows rod-shaped Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. U.S. officials are reporting two more deaths and additional cases of vision loss linked to eyedrops tainted with the drug-resistant bacteria. The eyedrops from EzriCare and Delsam Phama were recalled in February 2023 and health authorities are continuing to track infections as they investigate the outbreak. (Janice Haney Carr/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP, File) Janice Haney Carr/AP

Three dead after using eyedrops contaminated with rare superbug

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Three United States citizens have died after using eye drops contaminated with a rare superbug, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

Four others had to have their eyeballs surgically removed, while eight others went blind. In total, the CDC identified 68 victims across 16 different states. The cases were linked to India-based EzriCare and Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears products, which have been recalled. Altogether, 10 brands were recalled in connection with the infections, though cases were only directly linked with the two brands.

DEATH INVESTIGATION: CDC INVESTIGATING INFECTIONS ACROSS 11 STATES, ADVISES AGAINST EYE DROP BRAND

Previously, only one death was recorded due to the infection, in the state of Washington. The CDC announced the newest two fatalities in a Tuesday update, though didn’t give details on the victims.

The contamination was first identified in January when a drug-resistant strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa was discovered in patients, a rare bacterial superbug that has never been seen in the U.S. before. Eye drop use was quickly identified as the common link between them.

Global Pharma Healthcare, the company that manufactures the eye drops identified as being linked to the infections, issued a voluntary recall on Feb. 2.

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Symptoms from the infection include discharge from the eyes, pain in the eyes, a foreign body sensation, blurry vision, and increased sensitivity to light.

The eye drops were over-the-counter and didn’t require a prescription, being supplied by retailers such as Walmart, CVS, Target, and Amazon, according to the Daily Mail.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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