The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now identified 81 people who have contracted a rare strain of drug-resistant bacteria linked to recalled eye drops.
Four of those individuals have died, the CDC states. It adds that 14 individuals suffered vision loss and four others had to have an eyeball removed.
The CDC is imploring people to stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears and two additional products made by the same manufacturer, Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears and Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Ointment. The agency has also notified clinicians to stop giving out the eye drops.
"If patients were advised to use EzriCare or Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears by their healthcare provider, they should follow up with their healthcare provider for recommendations about alternative treatment options," the CDC says.
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The 81 cases have come from 18 states, including California, Florida, New York, Texas and Washington.
People who have used the recalled products should seek medical care if they begin to show symptoms of an eye infection. Symptoms include eye pain, redness to the eye, and discharge from the eye, according to the CDC.
For those who have used the recalled products, but do not have any symptoms, the CDC says there is currently no recommendation for testing for the bacteria.
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