Vaping illness cases now over 150, CDC says


More than 150 cases of severe lung illness possibly related to e-cigarette use in adolescents and young adults have been reported in 16 states, according to an Aug. 21 update from officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A young woman uses a vaping device licsiren/iStock/Getty Images

Officials from the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are working with state health officials to gather information on the cases as well as any products or substances that might be involved.

A total of 153 potential cases were reported between June 28 and Aug. 20 in 16 states – California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.

Health officials have yet to find a cause for these illnesses; however, all patients have reported e-cigarette use or vaping, according to a CDC statement. Evidence to date does not seem to indicate that an infectious agent is the cause.

In general, patients have reported a gradual onset of symptoms including shortness of breath and/or chest pain that increased over days or weeks before hospital admission. Gastrointestinal symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue have been reported by some.

Many patients reported using products containing tetrahydrocannabinol, though no specific or consistent product has been linked definitively.

While cases reported across the country seem to be similar, there is no evidence currently indicating they have a common cause, according to the CDC statement.

The CDC is urging health care professionals to report possible cases to their state or local health department and the FDA is urging the public to provide detailed reports of any unusual or unexpected health concerns related to tobacco use or e-cigarette use through its Safety Reporting Portal.

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