Four people dead from outbreak of severe pulmonary disease related to vaping

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Federal health officials investigating outbreak of severe pulmonary disease related to vaping

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Two more vape related deaths prompted more warnings by federal health officials who are investigating an outbreak of least 450 cases of a severe pulmonary illness caused by vaping across the country.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started an investigation in August after an increasing number of cases of a mysterious pulmonary illness were being reported by state health departments. There are cases in 33 states and one territory.

"We're all wondering if this is new or just newly recognized," Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman, of the CDC, said Friday. “We believe chemical exposure is likely associated with the illnesses.”

Investigators have not determined a common link. E-cigarette samples collected from across the country from those who have fallen ill include a range of substances and chemicals.

Vitamin E acetate, an oil derived from vitamin E and not meant to be inhaled, was found in a number of samples from marijuana products, the Washington Post reported. A sample of 53 ill patients in Illinois and Wisconsin found that one-fifth vaped nicotine-based products and not THC or CBD-based ones, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Patients reported a range of symptoms, including shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain.

A 65-year-old man with a long history of illness died in August from complications associated with vaping THC products, Minnesota health officials said Friday.

"This tragedy and the serious injuries suffered by others show the stakes of this outbreak," Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement. "Health officials are working hard to determine a cause and share information to prevent additional injuries."

Minnesota state officials are investigating 32 potential cases.

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials also said Friday a person died related to vaping, KABC reported.

Previous deaths were reported in Illinois and Oregon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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