Thursday, 17 October, 2019

USA vaping illness count tops 500, but cause remains unknown

Kenzo Tribouillard  AFP  Getty Images Kenzo Tribouillard AFP Getty Images
Anita Tucker | 20 September, 2019, 00:22

The FDA has collected more than 150 samples from patients across the country and is now analyzing them for the presence of cutting agents and other substances.

Over 150 additional people in the United States have been sickened by vaping, bringing the total to 530 cases, according to new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures. The state is asking residents to fill out a confidential online survey about their vaping habits to help pinpoint the differences between people who vaped and got sick, and those who didn't. There've been seven confirmed deaths from these illnesses so far, the Post said.

Two-thirds of the cases involved 18- to 34-year-olds.

The total number of illnesses is up from 380 a week ago.

All patients in the recent outbreak now under investigation had used an electronic cigarette or other vaping device.

Trump contradicts aides, self on Iran talks
The US military, he said, was working with its partners to "address this unprecedented attack". "That was a very large attack, and it could be met by an attack many, many times larger".

A serious lung illness linked to vaping has spread to 38 states and is now blamed for seven deaths. Investigators had previously mentioned finding vitamin E acetate in some samples, but lab tests show a "mix of results", Zeller said, and no one ingredient, including vitamin E, has shown up in all of the samples. No individual vapers will be targeted, Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products.

During a conference call between state health officials and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), earlier this month, investigators said they'd found a chemical called vitamin E acetate in nearly all of the samples of THC e-cigs they had tested.

"Based on initial data from certain states we know: Most patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing THC". Instead, she urged people to consider counselling or using FDA-approved smoking cessation products. Regardless of the investigation, youths, young adults, pregnant women and adults who don't now use tobacco products should not use them, Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the CDC, said during the briefing.

"Identifying any compounds present in the samples is the one piece of the puzzle and will not necessarily answer questions about causality", he said. What's more, "if you recently used an e-cigarette or vaping product and you have symptoms like those reported in this outbreak, we recommend you see a health care provider as soon as possible". Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea.

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