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South Carolina Joins Multi-State Eye Infection Investigation

Armen Hareyan's picture

Eye Infection

Public health officials in South Carolina have joined the investigation of severe eye infections found in other parts of the country.

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"We have asked healthcare providers throughout the state to notify DHEC of any diagnosed cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis since Jan. 1, 2005," said Kira A. Christian, DVM, MPH, national Centers for Disease Control Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in DHEC's Division of Acute Disease Epidemiology. "This information will assist in the determination whether the incidence of AK is increasing, how widespread the cases are, risk factors and what preventive measures may be used."

Christian said AK is a parasitic infection of the cornea that can lead to loss of vision or blindness. In the U.S., approximately 85 percent of cases occur among contact lens users.

The CDC began an investigation after an outbreak of AK cases was linked to Complete MoisturePlus contact lens solution. The solution has been voluntarily recalled by the manufacturer and consumers have been advised to discontinue using the product.