NEW YORK (AP) — The number of vaping-related illnesses has surpassed 1,000, and there’s no sign the outbreak is fading, U.S. health officials said Thursday.
Doctors say the illnesses, which first appeared in March, resemble an inhalation injury. Symptoms include severe, shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pain. Most who got sick said they vaped products containing THC, the marijuana ingredient that causes a high, but some said they vaped only nicotine.
The Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention said 1,080 confirmed and probable cases
have been reported in 48 states and one U.S. territory as of Tuesday
afternoon. The count includes 18 deaths in 15 states.
More than a
third of patients are under age 21, but the deaths have been older
adults who apparently had more difficulty recovering.
275 cases have been added to the tally each week, and about half of the
newest batch were people hospitalized in the last two weeks.
“Unfortunately, the outbreak … is continuing at a brisk pace” and there’s no sign of it slowing, the CDC’s Dr. Anne Schuchat said in a Thursday call with reporters.
What Kind of Vapes are Causing the Illnesses?
The Food and Drug Administration is analyzing products
from 18 states, but neither that agency nor the CDC has pinpointed an
electronic cigarette, vaping device, liquid or ingredient as the root
The investigation has increasingly focused on THC vaping
products. But until a cause is found, the CDC continues to advise
Americans to refrain from using any vaping products.
the investigation are apparently conflicting medical reports about
what’s been seen in the lungs of different patients. Some doctors
suggested patients’ lungs are being clogged and inflamed by oils from
vaping liquids, but a report published this week by the New England
Journal of Medicine pointed to the kind of chemical burns that might
come from poisonous gases.
“There may be a lot of different nasty
things in e-cigarette or vaping products, and they may cause different
harms in the lung,” Schuchat said. “We hope over the months ahead that
we’ll learn more about the spectrum of lung conditions that these
exposures are having.”
Only Alaska and New Hampshire have not reported any illnesses.