The CDC is strongly urging people to stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears
Available over-the-counter in places like Walmart and Walgreens, the eyedrops were found to have bacteria that could cause severe infection and lead to blindness or even death
On Jan. 20, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the public stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears due to its connection with an outbreak of immune-resistant bacteria across 11 states.
“CDC recommends that clinicians and patients immediately discontinue the use of EzriCare Artificial Tears until the epidemiological investigation and laboratory analyses are complete,” said the statement.
Per the release, 50 cases — one resulting in death from a bloodstream infection — have been recorded across 11 states, causing ocular and other infections and hospitalization.
Utah was one of the states with reported cases, along with California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Texas and Washington, as reported by Insider.
The bacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, is known to be resistant to several strong antibiotics including carbapenems, ceftazidime and cefepime, mostly used to treat conditions such as pneumonia, severe skin infections, urine infections and meningitis, per Insider.
Amy Lin, a specialist in the medical and surgical treatment of corneal and anterior segment diseases and a doctor at Moran Eye Center, said in a post on Moran Eye Center’s Twitter that other brands of eye drops are still safe to use. But if you have used EzriCare Artificial Tears, go to the emergency room if you have symptoms such as worsening vision, redness of the eye, or severe eye pain.
“In an abundance of caution,” EzriCare recommended to stop using “any portions of EzriCare Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops you may have until we can discover more details about any potential safety concerns,” as reported by CBS News.
The EzriCare Artificial Tears brand is common at Walmart and Walgreens.