US health officials reported one more death and several more cases of vision loss from illnesses linked to eye drops contaminated with drug-resistant bacteria.
The bacterium has infected 81 people, killed four and left 14 blind, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Friday. There were three deaths and eight cases of vision loss in March. The CDC also reports that four people have had surgery to remove the eyeball due to the infection.
The outbreak is considered particularly worrying because the bacterium that causes it – Pseudomonas aeruginosa – is resistant to standard antibiotics.
Researchers say most patients used certain brands of eye drops and products from Ezricare and Delsum Pharma were withdrawn from the market in February. At least seven patients were diagnosed after withdrawal.
Also following the recall, US health inspectors visited the plant in India that made the eye drops and discovered problems with the way the drops were made and tested, including inadequate sterility measures.
Cases are known in 18 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.