Eye drops recalled after drug-resistant bacteria outbreak

U.S. officials announced Thursday that a company was recalling over-the-counter drops it made. These eye drops were linked to an epidemic of drug-resistant bacteria.

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent out a health alert to physicians. It stated that at least 55 people were affected in twelve states. At least one person died, and five more suffered permanent vision impairment.

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EzriCare Artificial Tears were responsible for the infections. Many people claimed that they used the product as a lubricant for dryness and irritation.

Global Pharma Healthcare makes these eye drops in India and sells them under the brand EzriCare. The Food and Drug Administration said the company recalled unexpired lots of EzriCare Artificial Tears and another product, Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears.

FDA recommended recalls based upon manufacturing defects, such as lack of testing or proper packaging controls. Also, import restrictions were imposed by the FDA.

Pseudomonas Aeruginosa was responsible for the infections. The outbreak strain was discovered by investigators in EzriCare open bottles.

EzriCare (the company which markets the eyedrops in the U.S.) announced that it had stopped selling the drops. The company also posted a warning on their website asking consumers not to use the product.

Patients in California, Colorado and Connecticut were found to have an infection. In Washington, a person was killed by a blood disease.

Because the bacteria responsible for this outbreak are resistant to conventional antibiotics, it is particularly alarming.

Researchers found that the bacteria could not be treated with any of the antibiotics commonly used in public health laboratories. Cefiderocol, however, was found to be effective.

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Eye drops can cause bloodstream infections or lung diseases. Through the tear-ducts, your eye can connect to the nose cavity. Bacteria may move into the lungs from the nasal cavity.

According to the CDC, infections can also be spread from these areas, such as through bacteria present in bloodstreams or in wounds.

This article was contributed by the Associated Press

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