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Another death from lung illness linked to vaping reported

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Oregon health officials are investigating a death from severe respiratory illness that could be linked to vaping, according to...

Posted: Sep 4, 2019 3:59 PM

Oregon health officials are investigating a death from severe respiratory illness that could be linked to vaping, according to an announcement made Tuesday by the Oregon Health Authority.

The individual in Oregon, who died in July, had recently vaped products containing cannabis purchased at a dispensary, according to the announcement.

Last month, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced the first such death amid a growing number of similar lung illnesses across the country.

Health officials say it's unclear whether there's a connection between cases, whether vaping definitively caused these illnesses and what components or chemicals of e-cigarettes might be responsible.

"We don't yet know the exact cause of these illnesses -- whether they're caused by contaminants, ingredients in the liquid or something else, such as the device itself," Dr. Ann Thomas, public health physician at Oregon Health Authority's Public Health Division, said in a statement.

The report comes after US health officials revealed new national figures on Friday: As of August 27, there are at least 215 possible cases in 25 states of severe lung disease that could be caused by vaping -- with additional cases still under investigation, according to a statement by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration.

Reports by individual state health departments suggest the total number of potential cases could be significantly higher, although some cases may still be ruled out. The CDC declined to confirm the number of additional reports.

Still, this is an increase from one week prior, when the CDC said it was looking into 193 possible cases in 22 states -- including the death in Illinois. The 193 figure included unconfirmed cases, health officials previously told reporters.

The CDC, FDA and state health departments say they're working together figure out which products might have been used and facilitate laboratory testing.

So far, the FDA has "received about 80 samples and continues to receive requests from states to send more samples for the FDA to analyze," the Friday statement said. "The samples represent a variety of different types of products and substances -- a number of which contained incomplete information about the product.

"At this time, there does not appear to be one product involved in all of the cases, although THC and cannabinoids use has been reported in many cases." THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive substance in cannabis.

In Wisconsin, health officials said Thursday that a majority of the cases in their state had inhaled THC products. Health officials in the state have issued stern warnings to residents: Stop vaping immediately.

Health officials say patients have been hospitalized following symptoms such as difficulty breathing and chest pain. Some have experienced other symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, fever and fatigue. Many of those affected have been previously healthy adolescents and young adults.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 366733

Reported Deaths: 29529
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City20105121415
Nassau401402114
Suffolk393591871
Westchester332931357
Rockland13076626
Orange10325443
Erie5886504
Dutchess3867138
Monroe2824198
Onondaga2054127
Albany181476
Ulster165874
Sullivan135130
Putnam123658
Niagara98463
Oneida95946
Schenectady67629
Broome54544
Rensselaer46928
Saratoga46811
Columbia38032
Madison31010
Warren25326
Steuben24141
Greene23618
Washington23113
Orleans21233
St. Lawrence2012
Ontario2019
Fulton20018
Genesee1974
Tompkins1560
Chemung1361
Tioga12621
Chenango1260
Livingston1187
Wayne1123
Oswego1073
Herkimer1063
Clinton954
Cattaraugus850
Cayuga841
Montgomery824
Wyoming825
Chautauqua814
Delaware784
Jefferson720
Otsego705
Seneca560
Schoharie490
Allegany450
Yates396
Cortland390
Essex360
Lewis200
Franklin200
Schuyler110
Hamilton50
Unassigned00
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