Champaign-Urbana Public Health District

Increased Eye Infections among Students

Tuesday - May 05, 2009

Increased numbers of a rare but serious eye infection, Acanthamoeba keratitis, have been reported in Illinois among individuals who wear soft contact lenses. Because so many children and young adults wear soft contact lenses, the Illinois Department of Public Health is providing the following information to school personnel and students in health classes, school newsletters and in libraries/resource centers to help reduce risks of this infection.

Acanthamoeba keratitis is caused by a parasite commonly found in nature. It can cause a permanent loss of vision that can require corneal transplants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC) identified more than 500 cases of the disease nationwide from 2005 to 2008. The CDC has investigated a sample of these cases and found an association between this infection and use of Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) Complete® MoisturePlus Multi Purpose Solution.

AMO voluntarily recalled Complete® MoisturePlus Multi Purpose Solution in May 2007 and recommended that consumers stop using the product immediately. However, this product may still be in some homes where the solution was stored after purchase and prior to the recall, or it may be in stores where the product was purchased in mass quantities prior to the recall.

In addition to discontinuing the use of this product, there are simple but important steps persons who wear contact lenses can take to protect against this infection. Please read and follow the prevention advice in the CDC information sheet.