What do I need to know?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing a Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory about infections with an extensively drug-resistant strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in 12 states (Not MS as of this posting). Most patients reported using artificial tears. The majority of patients who used artificial tears reported using EzriCare Artificial Tears, a preservative-free, over-the-counter product packaged in multidose bottles. CDC laboratory testing identified the presence of the outbreak strain in opened EzriCare bottles with different lot numbers collected from two states. Patients and healthcare providers should immediately discontinue using EzriCare artificial tears pending additional guidance from CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
What’s Pseudomonas aeruginosa?
Pseudomonas is a type of bacteria (germ) that is found commonly in the environment, like in soil and in water. Of the many different types of Pseudomonas, the one that most often causes infections in humans is called Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can cause infections in the blood, lungs (pneumonia), or other parts of the body after surgery. This strain in the health alert has displayed antibiotic resistance.
How does this impact me?
- Discontinue using EzriCare Artificial Tears pending additional guidance from CDC and FDA.
- If patients were advised to use EzriCare Artificial Tears by their healthcare provider, they should follow up with their healthcare provider for an alternative artificial tears product to use.
- Patients who used EzriCare Artificial Tears and who have signs or symptoms of an eye infection, such as discharge from the eye, eye pain or discomfort, redness of the eye or eyelid, feeling of something in the eye, increased sensitivity to light, or blurry vision, should seek timely medical care. At this time, CDC does not recommend testing of patients who have used this product and who are not experiencing any signs or symptoms of infection.
Where can I get more information?
For more information, visit the CDC website. Here you can access the official health alert.