US Concerned Over Spread Of Drug-Resistant Germ Tied To Indian Eyedrops: Report
The top medical watchdog in the US has raised concerns over the likelihood of a highly drug-resistant bacteria, linked to eyedrops made by an Indian company, gaining a foothold in the US.
Three deaths, eight cases of blindness and dozens of infections have been traced to eyedrops made by Chennai-based Global Pharma Healthcare under the brand name EzriCare Artificial Tears, The New York Times reported citing the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC is concerned that the highly drug-resistant bacteria tied to the eyedrops imported from India could gain a foothold in the US.
Infectious disease specialists said the strain had not been previously detected in the US, and that it was particularly difficult to treat with existing antibiotics, the newspaper reported.
Global Pharma Healthcare, located about 40 km south of Chennai, had stopped the production of the eyedrops linked to the US market in February. It has also voluntarily recalled at the consumer level all unexpired lots of EzriCare Artificial Tears and Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears.
The India-made brand of eyedrops were the latest pharmaceutical product from the country to land under scrutiny after dozens of deaths among children in Gambia and Uzbekistan last year linked to cough syrups.
The US Food and Drug Administration has said using contaminated artificial tears increases risk of eye infections that could result in blindness or death.
The bacteria, pseudomonas aeruginosa, can cause infections in the blood, lungs or wounds and the germ has been proving tougher to treat in recent times because of antibiotic resistance.
“Patients who have used EzriCare or Delsam Pharma’s artificial tears and who have signs or symptoms of an eye infection should seek medical care immediately,” the CDC said on its website in its last update on the matter on March 21.
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