Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Fungal Contact - Lens Infections Rising - New York Times

Fungal Contact - Lens Infections Rising - New York Times: "It wasn't until several doctor visits later that Bregman-Rodriguez was diagnosed with a fungal eye infection, a condition difficult to treat that can cause blindness.

She's one of an alarming 21 cases treated so far this year at the University of Miami's Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, which typically sees that many in a year.

Even more peculiar is that 12 cases involved patients with contact lenses, while previously fewer than 2 percent of those infected wore them.

Increases have also surfaced in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are monitoring a dozen states -- which are not being named -- for an uptick.

The fungus, called fusarium, is commonly found in plant material and soil in tropical and subtropical areas. Without eyedrop treatment, which can last 2-3 months, the infection can scar the cornea and blind its victims."

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