Health officials in the United States are urging people to cease using over-the-counter eye drops connected to an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant illnesses.
In a health advisory emailed to doctors on Wednesday night, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the outbreak had affected at least 55 people across 12 states.
One person passed away.
Disease experts have connected EzriCare Artificial Tears to infections discovered in blood, urine, and lungs.
Many of the patients admitted to using the lubricant, which is used to relieve dryness and irritation.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a kind of bacteria, was responsible for all of the illnesses. Investigators found the type of bacteria in open EzriCare bottles, but more research was being done to see whether the strains matched.
EzriCare stated that although it is not aware of any concrete proof tying the epidemic to the medication, it has ceased dispensing the eye drops.
Additionally, a company website note encourages users to stop utilizing the dots.
We have been reaching out to customers as much as we can to warn them against continuing to use the product.
We also contacted the CDC and FDA right after and expressed our willingness to comply with any requirements they may have of us, the business claimed.
Two weeks ago, the CDC warned medical professional associations about a potential link between the drops and the diseases.
The warning issued on Wednesday was more extensive and widespread.
Patients in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin had infections identified in their bodies. In Washington, one patient passed away from a blood infection.
At least three additional people lost their vision permanently, and they were in New Jersey and California.
The bacteria causing the epidemic are considered particularly dangerous since they are resistant to common antibiotics.
Researchers discovered that the bacteria were resistant to all antibiotics regularly tested in public health laboratories. Cefiderocol, a more recent antibiotic, did, however, appear to be effective.
How could eye drops result in lung or blood infections? Through the tear ducts, the eye is connected to the nasal cavity, and bacteria may enter the lungs from the nasal cavity.
According to CDC authorities, germs in some regions of the body can also start illnesses at other locations, like in the blood or on open wounds.
According to EzriCare, Global Pharma Healthcare Pvt Ltd. manufactures the product in India.