Page last updated at 10:24 GMT, Friday, 20 November 2009

Procter & Gamble recalls 120,000 Vicks nasal sprays

Procter & Gamble headquarters
Procter & Gamble is recalling Vicks Sinex in the US, UK and Germany

Procter & Gamble has announced it is recalling 120,000 bottles of Vicks Sinex nasal spray after small traces of bacteria were found in the product.

Bottles shipped to the US, the UK and Germany are being recalled after traces of the B. cepacia bacteria were found at a German plant in Gross Gerau.

The firm said no illnesses had been reported, but the bacteria can affect people with lung problems.

It added that consumers who have the medication should no longer use it.

Stands for Burkholderia cepacia
Found in soil and water
Causes pneumonia in people who have weakened immune systems or chronic lung diseases, particularly cystic fibrosis
Is often resistant to common antibiotics
Can be spread by person to person contact - careful hand hygiene can reduce the risk

The consumer products giant stressed the recall was just a precautionary measure, but added that "the bacteria could cause serious infections for individuals with a compromised immune system, or those with chronic lung conditions, such as cystic fibrosis."

In the UK, lot 9224028832 of Vicks Sinex Micromist Aqueous Nasal Spray solution in 15ml bottles is being recalled.

Consumers worried whether they own one of the affected bottles should call 0800 555 515.

This is not the first time B. cepacia has contaminated medicines.

In 2005 in the US, there was an outbreak of pneumonia and other infections caused by a contaminated mouthwash, while in 2004 supplies of an over-the-counter nasal spray were withdrawn because of contamination.

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