MIAMI, Florida – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that two more people have died from a rare eye infection linked to artificial tears. The infection, called VIM-GES-CRPA, is caused by a strain of the extensively drug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria.
As of February 28, 2023, the CDC has identified 68 cases of VIM-GES-CRPA in 16 states. Thirty-seven of the cases have been linked to four healthcare facility clusters.
Three people have died and there have been 8 reports of vision loss and 4 reports of enucleation (surgical removal of eyeball).
The CDC is urging healthcare providers and consumers to stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears pending additional information and guidance from the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The CDC is also urging healthcare providers to monitor patients for signs of infection and to report any cases to the CDC.
The CDC is working with the FDA to investigate the outbreak and to determine the source of the contamination. The CDC is also working with the manufacturer of EzriCare Artificial Tears to develop a recall plan.
The CDC is urging consumers to take the following steps to prevent the spread of VIM-GES-CRPA:
The CDC is also urging healthcare providers to take the following steps to prevent the spread of VIM-GES-CRPA:
The CDC is working to prevent the spread of VIM-GES-CRPA and to protect the public from this rare but serious eye infection.