How U.S. officials solved the mystery of eyedrops infecting dozens with drug-resistant bacteria – CBC

58 Americans in 13 states were infected, including at least 5 who suffered permanent vision loss, one death

Feb 28, 2023

The patients’ eyes were painfully inflamed. They could sense light but could see almost nothing else. A doctor called one case the worst eye infection he’d ever seen.

It was the beginning of a national outbreak caused by an extremely worrisome bacteria — one that some say heralds an era in which antibiotics no longer work and seemingly routine infections get horribly out of hand.

At last count, 58 Americans in 13 states have been infected, including at least one who died and at least five who suffered permanent vision loss. All have been linked to tainted eyedrops, leading to a recall.

Experts marvel at how disease detectives pieced together the case: Patients were scattered across the country. The illnesses occurred over the span of months. The infections were found in different parts of the body — in the blood of some patients, in the lungs of others.

But scientists also shudder, because they have long worried common bacteria will evolve so that antibiotics no longer work against them.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/eyedrops-us-bacteria-1.6762792

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More