Outbreak of Eye Infections Associated With Use of Artificial Tears

MONO COUNTY, Calif. (FEBRUARY 06, 2023) – On February 1, 2023, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory about infections with an extensively drug-resistant strain of Verona Integron-mediated Metallo-β-lactamase (VIM) and Guiana-Extended Spectrum-β-Lactamase (GES)-producing carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (VIM-GES-CRPA) in 12 states.  Most patients reported using artificial tears.  Patients reported more than 10 different brands of artificial tears, and some patients used multiple brands.

The majority of patients who used artificial tears reported using EzriCare Artificial Tears, a preservative-free, over-the-counter product packaged in multidose bottles.  CDC laboratory testing identified the presence of the outbreak strain in opened EzriCare bottles with different lot numbers collected from two states.  The CDC is urging patients and healthcare providers to immediately discontinue using EzriCare artificial tears pending additional guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Recommendations For the Public

  • Discontinue using EzriCare Artificial Tears pending additional guidance.
  • If patients were advised to use EzriCare Artificial Tears by their healthcare provider, they should follow up with their healthcare provider for an alternative artificial tears product to use.
  • Patients who used EzriCare Artificial Tears and who have signs or symptoms of an eye infection, such as discharge from the eye, eye pain or discomfort, redness of the eye or eyelid, feeling of something in the eye, increased sensitivity to light, or blurry vision, should seek timely medical care. At this time, CDC does not recommend testing of patients who have used this product and who are not experiencing any signs or symptoms of infection.

Additional details can be accessed here.  For more information, questions, or concerns, please call Mono County Public Health at (760) 924-1830 or follow up with your pediatrician or medical provider.