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US On Alert After Outbreak Of Corneal Infections

by Medindia Content Team on April 3, 2006 at 11:51 AM
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US On Alert After Outbreak Of Corneal Infections

A severe corneal infection, which is linked with contact lens wearers, seems to be on rise in US and health officials are seeing that no stones are unturned in combating it. The fungal infection is said to be associated with the lens wearers in Asia and has started spreading in America, according to foodconsumer.org.

The New York state Department of Health has issued an alert in collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, acknowledging that they are investigating three cases of Fusarium keratitis -- a severe corneal fungal infection that has recently been linked to soft contact lens use.

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Optometrists in Florida and Iowa also have reported seeing similar cases in patients, the American Optometric Association said.

"This recent news is cause for concern, but not for alarm," said Jack Schaeffer, incoming chairman of the Contact Lens and Cornea Section of the AOA. "We want our patients to be aware that there is a problem out there and that the details are unfolding as we speak."

Treatment for Fusarium keratitis includes anti-fungal medication. However, some patients have reportedly experienced a significant loss of vision, resulting in the need for a corneal transplant.

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