The death toll related to contaminated eye drops rises to 3, as 8 people report vision loss

Four people reportedly had their eyeballs surgically removed.

The death toll from an outbreak linked to contaminated recalled eye drops has risen and more people have lost their sight.

According to an update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday, the death toll has risen from one to three.

In addition, at least eight people have become blind and four people have had their eyeballs surgically removed.

The CDC did not provide information about affected patients in its update, including names, ages, genders or where they live.

More than 10 different brands of artificial tears have been recalled. Most cases have been linked to eye drops from EzriCare and Delsam Pharma, made by India-based Global Pharma Healthcare.

According to the CDC, the eye drops were contaminated with an antibiotic-resistant form of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an aggressive bacteria.

Pseudomonas is a type of bacteria found in the environment, with P. aeruginosa being the most common cause of infections in humans.

The infection is common in healthcare settings and spreads through improper hygiene, either from unclean hands or from medical equipment and surfaces that are not properly cleaned.

P. aeruginosa is resistant to multiple types of antibiotics and has caused about 32,600 infections in U.S. hospitalized patients and an estimated 2,700 deaths, according to the CDC.

However, the strain linked to the outbreak had never been reported in the United States before, the CDC said in its update.

As of March 14, 68 people in 16 states were infected with P. aeruginosa. Of these, 37 are linked to four care clusters.

Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning, backed by the CDC, urging health care professionals and the public not to purchase EzriCare artificial tears or Delsam Pharma artificial tears because of potential bacterial contamination.

Following the alert, Global Pharma Healthcare issued a voluntary recall of both products, notifying distributors and advising wholesalers, retailers and customers who have the products to stop using them.

Not long after, the FDA advised Global Pharma to recall Delsam Pharma’s artificial eye ointment, to which the company agreed. So far there have been no reports of infections associated with this product.

The CDC has warned anyone with symptoms of an eye infection who has used eye drops from EzriCare or Delsam Pharma to seek immediate medical attention.

Such symptoms include yellow, green, or clear discharge from the eye; eye pain or discomfort; red eyes or eyelids; sensation of something in the eye; increased sensitivity to light; and blurred vision.

The CDC did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.






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