The number of deaths because of vaping-related illnesses is now up to five as the Centers for Disease Control investigate the 450 cases of severe lung illness reported in 33 states and one U.S. territory. That’s more than double the 215 cases reported a week ago.
It’s not obvious whether a particular substance vaped or a type of vaping device is behind the illnesses, federal and state health officials stated September 6 in a news conference. “So far, no definitive causes have been established,” declared Dana Meaney-Delman of the lung injury response group at the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Now, federal health officials are advising people not to use e-cigarettes, and say that vaping is especially dangerous to youth, young adults and pregnant women.
The federal health organization urged Americans to stop using e-cigarettes while it — along with the Food and Drug Administration and state officials — investigate the respiratory problems that have impacted residents in 33 states and one jurisdiction.
“While this investigation is ongoing, people should consider not using e-cigarette products,” says Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman, incident manager of the CDC’s response to the vaping-related lung injuries. “People who do use e-cigarette products should monitor themselves for symptoms, for example, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea and vomiting — and promptly seek medical attention for any health concerns.”
However, Three new deaths were confirmed on Friday in Indiana, Minnesota, and California, following two before reported deaths in Illinois and Oregon.
State health officials announce the death of a Minnesotan who experienced serious lung injuries is now the fifth in the country considered as death because of vaping-related illnesses.
The patient, who was told to be older than 65 but not otherwise identified, died in August following a “long and complicated hospitalization” that state health officials on Friday said was “associated” with vaping, the use of e-cigarettes.
For now, federal health officials are advising people not to use e-cigarettes, and say that vaping is especially dangerous to youth, young adults and pregnant women.
The New York State Department of Health is eyeing one probable suspect material, saying on September 5 that high levels of vitamin E acetate had been seen in some vape products including cannabis. Vitamin E acetate is a dietary supplement and part of some skin care products but could be deadly when inhaled.
The CDC also said they are looking into the lab tests from New York state health officials that showed vitamin E acetate in many of the cannabis e-cigarette cartridges that sickened patients had submitted for testing.
But, Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said that of the 120 samples they have collected so far, not all of them contained vitamin E acetate.
“No one substance or compound, including vitamin E acetate, has been identified in all the samples tested,” he said in the briefing.
Shortly before, we were surprised to hear that the vape’s first victim died and now we have reached the fifth death. This small device that looks very fun to youngsters is probably an attractive killer.
Health officials and doctors have been uncertain of what exactly about e-cigarettes is causing “healthy, young people to become ill,” but the CDC said Friday that they are starting to see trends. Most of the 450 cases included a young person between 18 and 25 who was originally thought to have a pneumonia-like disease that turned out to be a pulmonary illness.
The CDC said they are still unsure of the exact chemical or substance that these cases have in common, as the patients used a variety of vaping products. Some used e-cigarettes with only nicotine, while others essentially used marijuana-based products.
Still, “we are getting a clearer focus … and the investigation is narrowing,” Ileana Arias, the acting deputy director for noninfectious diseases at CDC, said.
They also believe that the “lung illnesses are likely connected with chemical exposure,” Meaney-Delman stated.
Most recently, Indiana declared a third death linked to vaping-related illnesses on Friday, Minnesota a fourth and California a fifth. State and federal health officials are working urgently to understand the causes.
Medical authorities and federal health officials on Friday urged the public about the risks of vaping and discouraged using the devices as the number of people with a severe lung illness linked to vaping more than doubled to 450
The Indiana Department of Health published the third death on Friday, and hours later, officials in Minnesota confirmed that a fourth person had died. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is investigating a fifth death, and an official said Friday that “vaping is a probable potential cause.” Two other deaths, one in Illinois, the other in Oregon, had been announced previously.
“There is clearly an epidemic that begs for an urgent response,” Dr. David C. Christiani of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health wrote in an editorial published on Friday in The New England Journal of Medicine.
The editorial called on doctors to discourage their patients from using e-cigarettes and for a broader effort to increase public awareness about “the harmful effects of vaping.”
ADPH is still accumulating data from hospitals around Alabama, according to Jamey Durham, the director of the ADPH Bureau of Prevention, Promotion, and Support.
Durham announced they will look further into the five potential cases next week. This will include looking into the person’s medical records and talking with them about contact with vaping products.
No single vaping device, liquid or ingredient has been joined to all the illnesses, U.S. health officials declared.