The recent NBC News report that there are now four deaths linked to the recalled contaminated eyedrops has sparked a lot of reactions on social media. Many people have expressed their shock, anger and fear over the outbreak of a rare and drug-resistant bacterial infection that has also caused extensive vision loss and eye removals among some patients.
According to NBC News, the bacterium responsible for the infections is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a type of bacterium commonly found in water and soil and on the hands of otherwise healthy people. However, this particular strain of the bacterium has mutated over time to evade most treatments, and had not been found in the U.S. until last year. The CDC has identified 68 patients in 16 states with this strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can only be treated by one known antibiotic called cefiderocol.
The contaminated eye drops were imported from India and sold under various brand names, including EzriCare Artificial Tears, Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears and Artificial Eye Ointment. The CDC has recalled these products and warned consumers and health care providers to stop using them immediately. Most of the patients became ill before the recall was announced in January.
On Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, many users have shared their stories of allegedly using the recalled eye drops, and suffering from eye infections or other complications. Some have posted photos of their damaged eyes, or their medical bills. Others have expressed their outrage at the lack of quality control and regulation of the eyedrop industry. Some have called for legal action against the manufacturers, and distributors of the contaminated products. Some have also questioned the CDC’s response, and transparency regarding the outbreak.
The social media reactions to the NBC News report show how serious and widespread the impact of the contaminated eye drops is on the areas of public health and safety. They also highlight the need for more awareness, prevention and accountability regarding this issue.