Michigan Continues To Investigate Cases Of Eye Infections

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

May 19, 2006

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has reported three cases of rare eye infections in the wake of a voluntary worldwide recall of Bausch and Lomb soft contact lens products.

“We strongly encourage individuals who wear soft contact lenses and use the ReNu with MoistureLoc solution to dispose of those products immediately,” said Janet Olszewski, MDCH Director. “Contact lens wearers should immediately discontinue use of these products, and should consult an eye care specialist concerning alternative solution cleaning and disinfection solutions.”

As of today, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received reports of 130 confirmed Fusarium keratitis cases from 26 states and one territory, including Michigan. MDCH has been assisting the CDC in its investigation into potential cases of Fusarium keratitis in Michigan residents.

Since June 2005, three cases of Fusarium keratitis in soft contact lens wearers with no previous history of eye trauma have been identified throughout the state. Suspect cases diagnosed from June 1, 2005 to the present should be reported to the Michigan Department of Community Health.

On May 15, Bausch & Lomb issued a voluntary worldwide recall of its ReNu with MoisureLoc solution for soft contact lenses as a result of an ongoing investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) into cases of rare eye infections in soft contact users. The current investigation was begun following reports of an unusual increase in the occurrence of keratitis, or inflammation of the cornea, due to infection with the fungus named Fusarium. The joint CDC and FDA investigation is ongoing.

The epidemiologic investigation has found that use of Bausch & Lomb’s ReNu with MoistureLoc contact lens solution is associated with an increased risk of developing Fusarium keratitis, as compared to other products evaluated in the investigation.

Use of good hygiene practices can help prevent serious eye infections in contact lens wearers, and include washing with soap and water and drying hands before handling contact lenses, avoiding the reuse of contact lens solution, wearing lenses according to physician recommendations, and following specific guidelines for cleaning and storage of lenses from a doctor and the solution manufacturer.

Symptoms of keratitis can include unusual eye redness, pain, tearing, blurred vision and light sensitivity.