4 blinded from contaminated eye drops: 5 updates

On Feb. 5, the CDC, FDA and local health officials released their findings on a recent outbreak of bacteria and fungi stemming from contaminated eye drops.

An outbreak of drug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which spanned from January 2022 to May 2023, stemmed from nearly 40 eye drops sold at major retailers. Before the eye drops were recalled and clinicians were warned, investigators identified 81 affected patients.

The findings are published in Clinical Infectious Diseases. Here are five things to know:

1. Eighteen states had confirmed cases. 

2. Of the 70 patients with information, 61 reported using artificial tears. Forty-three of them reported using EzriCare Artificial Tears.

3. Four of the 54 patients, or 7%, with clinical cultures died within 30 days of culture collection. 

4. Four of the 18, or 22% with eye infections, had their eyes removed. An additional 14 people experienced vision loss. 

5. The outbreak's origin is a Los Angeles ophthalmology clinic, and 26 cases belonged to outbreak clusters at three hospitals in separate states.

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