The US Centers for Disease Control is now reporting 153 possible cases of severe lung illness in 16 states that could be caused by vaping, the agency reported Wednesday.
The cases reported from June 28, 2019 to August 20, 2019 have occurred in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.
New Jersey health officials are investigating nine reports from healthcare facilities of severe lung illness in people who report vaping. The cases in New Jersey have been primarily reported among persons between the ages of 17 to 35 with no significant past medical history.
There have been no deaths reported, according to the CDC.
Many states have alerted CDC to possible – -not confirmed- – cases and investigations into these cases are ongoing. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working with CDC and state health officials to gather information on any products or substances used and providing technical and laboratory assistance.
The CDC and other states have not identified a cause, but all reported cases have e-cigarette product use or “vaping.” Available evidence does not suggest that an infectious disease is the principal cause of the illness.
Investigators have not identified any specific product or compound that is linked to all cases.
In many cases, patients reported a gradual start of symptoms including breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, and/or chest pain before hospitalization. Some cases reported mild to moderate gastrointestinal illness including vomiting and diarrhea and fatigue as well. Also, have acknowledged recent use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing products while speaking to healthcare personnel or in follow-up interviews by health department staff; however, no specific product has been identified in all cases, nor has any product been conclusively linked to illnesses.
Even though cases appear similar, it is not clear if these cases have a common cause or if they are different diseases with similar presentations. The State Departments of Health are investigating the possible cause of the illness by testing patient specimens and e-cigarette products. State-specific epidemiologic investigations are ongoing.
The CDC has notified U.S. healthcare systems and clinicians about the illnesses and what to watch for via a Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) Clinical Action Message. For information about a specific state, contact that state’s health department.
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