Fourth person dies from exposure to drug-resistant bacteria in eye drops


A fourth person has died from exposure to a drug-resistant bacteria found in eye drops in the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the bacteria has infected 81 people, including the four that died and 14 people who lost their vision.

That is up on the three deaths and eight cases of vision loss reported in March.

The outbreak is driven by a bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is resistant to standard antibiotics.

Investigators said most of the patients had used certain brands of eye drops, and products from EzriCare and Delsam Pharma.

These products were recalled in February and at least seven patients were diagnosed after the recall.

EzriCare said in February: “We are not aware of any testing that definitively links the Pseudomonas aeruginosa outbreak to EzriCare Artificial Tears.

“Nonetheless, we immediately took action to stop any further distribution or sale of EzriCare Artificial Tears.”

The EzriCare products were manufactured by Global Pharma Healthcare in India and sold mostly online.

After the recall, health inspectors from the US visited the plant and found that there were problems with how the eye drops were made and tested – this included inadequate sterility measures.

What is Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection?

The CDC has said Pseudomonas is a type of bacteria that is commonly found in the environment, in places like soil or in ground water.

One of the types of Pseudomonas – Pseudomonas aeruginosa – causes infections in humans.

This bacteria can cause infection in the blood, lungs and other parts of the body.

“These bacteria are constantly finding new ways to avoid the effects of the antibiotics used to treat the infections they cause,” the CDC writes on its website.

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“Antibiotic resistance occurs when the germs no longer respond to the antibiotics designed to kill them.

“If they develop resistance to several types of antibiotics, these germs can become multidrug-resistant.”

Some of the symptoms of the eye infections include eye pain or discomfort, discharge from the eye, redness of the eye, blurry vision and increased sensitivity to light.

Where has the outbreak been found?

So far, cases have been reported in 18 states in the US:

• California
• Colorado
• Connecticut
• Delaware
• Florida
• Illinois
• North Carolina
• New Jersey
• New Mexico
• Nevada
• New York
• Ohio
• Pennsylvania
• South Dakota
• Texas
• Utah
• Washington
• Wisconsin

The CDC has warned anyone who has used the products recently to seek medical care immediately.

“Make sure that these recalled products are not still present, aren’t hiding on a shelf,” Maroya Spalding Walters, who leads the CDC’s antimicrobial resistance team, said in an interview, according to NBC News.

“Anytime a product is recalled, there’s always a chance that it’s going to be still in homes and be used months or years down the road.”

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