Editor's note: This story was updated Feb. 3, with details of the recall.
Feb. 1, 2023 -- A bacterial outbreak linked to eyedrops has caused one death and sickened at least 55 people in 11 states, the CDC says. Some patients have been hospitalized and some are now permanently blind. At least one person has died from a blood infection tied to the drops.
“Recent epidemiology and laboratory evidence link these infections to use of EzriCare Artificial Tears,” the CDC said in a statement.
While no recall was initially called for, Global Pharma Healthcare, the manufacturer of the products, announced Thursday it was recalling all of its artificial tears drops sold in the U.S.
People should discontinue using EzriCare Artificial Tears, the CDC advised. The over-the-counter product is available from retailers such as Walmart.
The bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, usually causes blood or lung infections that are resistant to many antibiotics. The bacteria type is present in the environment and commonly found in water and soil.
The illnesses occurred from May 17, 2022, to Jan. 19 in these states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
Based in New Jersey, EzriCare published a special website explaining that the company has not received any related consumer complaints.
In a statement on the website dated Jan. 24, the company said it “has not received communication from any regulatory agency providing any outcomes or details to EzriCare about the ongoing investigation. We have not been asked to conduct a recall.”
The CDC said its investigation is ongoing.