The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have issued a recall of EzriCare Artificial Tears, an over-the-counter eye drop due to an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant infections.
The recall comes after the CDC launched an investigation into the cluster of infections that resulted in hospitalizations and one death, and found that many of the infected patients had used artificial tears.
The outbreak has been linked to the bacteria strain pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is resistant to antibiotics and had not been identified before this outbreak.
The recall affects two brands of artificial tears, EzriCar and Delsam Pharma, because of concerns they may be contaminated.
The New York Times reports that the pseudomonas aeruginosa strain found in the outbreak was resistant to carbapenems, a class of antibiotics often used as a last resort.
The CDC reported 55 cases in 12 states as of Tuesday, with one death and vision loss in five of 11 people with eye infections.
The CNET reports that the CDC has recommended that people stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears immediately.
A CDC spokesperson stated that the investigation may take several more weeks, but until then, people should not use the recalled eye drops.
The Independent reports that the CDC has not yet traced the infection to Artificial Tears but a majority of those who became sick reported using it.
The CDC has not yet released what other brands of artificial tears may be involved in the outbreak.
All sources agree that the recall is a result of an ongoing investigation and that the public should stop using these eye drops until the investigation is completed.