NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating an outbreak of a drug-resistant bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa, that can cause blindness or death.

The CDC discovered a common link between infected patients, which was the use of EzriCare and Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears products, according to the CDC.

EzriCare and Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears also issued a voluntary recall for the products while the CDC investigates the outbreak.

Yale Medicine Ophthalmologist Dr. Vicente Diaz said the Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection is serious as it does not respond to standard antibiotics.

FDA: Two more eyedrop brands recalled due to risks

“Some people have lost their eyes, and in some cases, it has gotten into the bloodstream and some people have lost their lives,” Diaz said.

Sixty-eight people have been affected in 16 states including here in Connecticut, according to Diaz.

Three people have died, there have been eight reports of vision loss, and four reports of people who had to have their eyes surgically removed.

Diaz said the manufacturers and four brands involved are smaller ones.

Both the CDC and FDA recommended that clinicians and patients stop using the eyedrops while awaiting additional guidance from the CDC.

Diaz’s specialty is treating infectious diseases and inflammation of the eye. He said there are many reasons people may need lubricating eye drops to keep their eyes healthy. He said patients should continue using their artificial tears, as long as they are from an established brand not issued in the recall.

Diaz also reminds people to check the expiration dates on eye drops for general safety. He said the recalled brands are not typically found in big brand retailers, it’s smaller type stores or perhaps online.