Illinois part of bacterial outbreak in eye drops linked to deaths and vision loss in 16 states – NBC Chicago
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday in an alert.
According to the CDC, an epidemic of the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa has been reported in 68 patients who used various artificial tear and eye drop products in at least 16 states, including Illinois. The bacterium, which the CDC describes as “extremely drug resistant,” is associated with several types of infections, including eye infections.
According to health officials, the 68 patients said they had used a variety of eye drops before noticing symptoms, prompting a recall of three brands: EzriCare Artificial Tears, Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears and Delsam’s Artificial Eye Ointment.
“At this time, the CDC and FDA recommend that clinicians and patients discontinue use of EzriCare or Delsam Pharma artificial tear products pending further guidance from the CDC and FDA,” the report continued. CDC alert.
Where have the cases been reported?
According to the CDC, the outbreak has been identified in 68 patients in 16 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington. and Wisconsin.
A report by NBC News said not all patients had eye infections. Others have been found to have respiratory or urinary tract infections. Deaths can occur when the bacteria enter the bloodstream.
The CDC says it does not recommend testing patients who have used the recalled products but have no signs or symptoms of infection.
According to health experts, symptoms of eye infection can include:
- Yellow, green, or clear discharge from the eye
- Eye pain or discomfort
- Redness of the eye or eyelid
- Sensation of something in the eye (foreign body sensation)
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Blurry vision
What is Pseudomonas aeruginosa?
Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria are commonly found in water and soil and on the hands of otherwise healthy people, NBC News reports. Infections usually occur in hospital settings in people with weakened immune systems. As many as 37 patients were linked to four outbreaks in healthcare facilities, the CDC reported.
The epidemic strain, according to the CDC, had “never been reported in the United States” until now.