Death Toll Linked To Contaminated Eye Drops Rises To Three

An outbreak linked to contaminated eye drops has infected 68 people in 16 states and has resulted in three deaths, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In its latest update, CDC said that as of March 14 the agency has identified 68 patients in 16 states with VIM-GES-CRPA, a rare strain of extensively drug-resistant P. aeruginosa.

Thirty-seven patients were linked to four healthcare facility clusters. Three people have died and there have been 8 reports of vision loss and 4 reports of enucleation, i.e. surgical removal of eyeball.

Reported adverse events include infections of the cornea, bloodstream, respiratory tract and urinary tract.

Most of the patients reported using artificial tears, the CDC said, and EzriCare Artificial Tears was the brand most commonly reported.

Global Pharma Healthcare recalled its Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops that were distributed by EzriCare and Delsam Pharma last month.

Laboratory testing by CDC identified the presence of VIM-GES-CRPA in opened EzriCare bottles from multiple lots; these bottles were collected from patients with and without eye infections and from two states. VIM-GES-CRPA recovered from opened products match the outbreak strain.

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