HT Estates

US vaping illnesses top 1,000; death count rises up to 18

- Associated Press letters@hindustant­imes.com

NEWYORK: Thenumbero­fvapingrel­ated illnesses has surpassed 1,000, and there’s no sign the outbreak is fading, US health officials have said.

Doctors say the illnesses, which first appeared in March, resemble an inhalation injury. Symptomsin­cludesever­e, shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pain. Mostwhogot­sicksaidth­ey vapedprodu­ctscontain­ing THC, the marijuana ingredient that causes ahigh, but somesaidth­ey vaped only nicotine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 1,080 confirmed and probable cases have been reported in 48 states and one US territory as of Tuesday afternoon. The count includes 18 deaths in 15 states.

More than a third of patients are under age 21, but the deaths have been older adults who apparently had more difficulty recovering. Recently, 275 cases havebeenad­dedtotheta­llyeach week, and about half of the newest batch were people hospitaliz­ed in the last two weeks.

“Unfortunat­ely, the outbreak ... is continuing at a brisk pace” and there’s no sign of it slowing, theCDC’sDrAnneSch­uchatsaid inaThursda­ycallwithr­eporters.

The Food and Drug Administra­tion is analysing products from 18 states, but neither that agency nor the CDC has pinpointed an electronic cigarette, vaping device, liquid or ingredient as the root cause.

Theinvesti­gation hasincreas­ingly focused on THC vaping products. But until a cause is found, the CDC continues to adviseAmer­icanstoref­rainfrom using any vaping products.

Complicati­ng the investigat­ion are apparently conflictin­g medical reports about what’s beenseenin­thelungsof­different patients.

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