CBS NEWS – The death toll has now climbed to three in the outbreak of extensively drug-resistant bacteria that was linked to recalled eye drops, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday, confirming two more deaths in people infected by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Eight people have lost their vision and four have had their eyeballs removed, according to the CDC’s latest update, out of 68 patients identified across 16 states with the bacteria. One death had previously been reported in a Washington state man.
A total of three eye products have been recalled from the brands EzriCare and Delsam Pharma — all imported from Indian firm Global Pharma Healthcare Private Limited.
Health authorities raced to investigate the outbreak suspected to be linked to opened eye drops that were purchased online and in retailers, as well as obtained through ophthalmologist offices.
Two eye products from other manufacturers have also been recalled in recent weeks for unrelated contamination concerns.
The Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain in the outbreak is exceedingly rare and had never before been seen in the U.S.
It is especially challenging for doctors to treat given it has developed resistance to a dozen different antibiotics.
CDC spokesperson Martha Sharan said in an email:
“Pseudomonas was a contributing case of death for one patient; for other two patients the role of Pseudomonas in the death is unknown.”
Sharan did not offer details to where and when the two new deaths occurred, aside from saying that they occurred within a month of when specimens of the bacteria were collected … READ MORE.
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