In the latest health warning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has linked EzriCare Artificial Tears to a bacterial infection that has infected at least 55 people in 12 states in the United States. The infection caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa is resistant to most antibiotics and has led to the death of one person while three others have suffered from permanent vision loss.
According to the CDC, people who have used the over-the-counter eye drops manufactured in India have fallen seriously ill. Although the exact brand has not been proven to cause the infections, at least 11 people have developed eye infections and three of them have experienced permanent loss of vision in one eye.
Experts believe that the infection could be caused by contamination during the manufacturing process or use since the eye drops do not contain any preservatives to prevent the growth of bacteria.
The manufacturers of the eye drops based in Chennai have initiated a recall of the product for those that were sent to the US and have also launched an investigation into the matter. The CDC has recommended that clinicians and patients discontinue the use of EzriCare Artificial Tears until laboratory analysis and an epidemiological investigation are completed. Experts have also called for an immediate halt in the sale of these eye drops.
The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have expressed concerns that the bacteria responsible could spread from person to person in healthcare settings. While it has not yet been determined whether the new strain can transfer from person to person outside of a healthcare facility, experts have advised patients to call their doctor immediately if they experience symptoms such as pain, tenderness, and drainage of the eye.
The CDC and FDA have urged clinicians and patients to stop using EzriCare or Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears products since they could result in infection that leads to permanent blindness.