The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning consumers to stop using using EzriCare Artificial Tears in the wake of a “multistate cluster” of infections linked to the eye drops.

At least one person has died from a bacterial infection that may be associated with the preservative-free eye drops, the CDC said in a January 20 statement (PDF). “Patient outcomes include permanent vision loss resulting from ocular infection, hospitalization, and death of one patient with bloodstream infection,” the CDC said.

Altogether, CDC investigators have located at least 50 people in 11 states infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PDF), a type of bacteria that is resistant to treatment with antibiotics. So far, the CDC has identified cases in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Washington State.

New Mexico public health officials said in a January 10 statement (PDF) that 11 patients who tested positive for P. aeruginosa each had underlying eye diseases and used medicated eye drops or artificial tears prior to their infection. So far, five of these patients have developed vision loss in an eye treated with drops.

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