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CDC: Vaping-related lung injuries rise to 1,888 with 37 deaths :

October 31, 2019

Vaping-related lung injuries continue to rise, with the case count reaching 1,888 including 37 deaths.

The number of patients increased by 284 and deaths increased by three over the previous week, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.

In an Oct. 28 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC reported 70% of patients have been male. The median age is 24 years, while the youngest patient was 13. Cases have been reported in every state except Alaska. Among those who have died, the median age is 45. Deaths have been reported in 24 states.

About 86% of patients used a product containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and 64% used a product containing nicotine, according to the report. Just over half used both.

“Because most patients reported using THC-containing products before symptom onset, CDC recommends that persons should not use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC,” the CDC wrote in the report. “In addition, because the specific compound or ingredient causing lung injury is not yet known, and while the investigation continues, persons should consider refraining from the use of all e-cigarette, or vaping, products.”

Patients have complained of difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and/or chest pain. Some also experienced diarrhea, vomiting, fever and fatigue, according to the CDC.

The CDC encourages clinicians to consider vaping-related illnesses in patients with lung disease, collect detailed information on the products patients were using and report suspected cases to their state health department. Detailed guidance from the CDC is available at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6841e3.htm?s_cid=mm6841e3_w.

The CDC has created a case form to assist with reporting probable or confirmed cases and also developed guidance for coding these encounters.

For information about the collection of e-cigarette products for possible testing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), email FDAVapingSampleInquiries@fda.hhs.gov.

The CDC also encourages the public to report any unexpected tobacco or e-cigarette-related health or product issues to the FDA’s online Safety Reporting Portal, http://www.safetyreporting.hhs.gov.

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