Published: Fri, September 20, 2019
Health Care | By Harold Elliott

Related illnesses increase to 530, CDC says

Related illnesses increase to 530, CDC says

And the Food and Drug Administration has revealed a criminal investigation into the outbreak, according to a Thursday report in The Washington Post. Some affected people used e-cigarette products with THC, while others used nicotine ones or those with both THC and nicotine. On Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 530 confirmed and probable cases have been reported from 38 states and one U.S. territory.

Seven deaths have been reported.

According to the CDC, more than half the patients are under 25, with two-thirds between 18 and 34, and 16% under 18.

Previously, the FDA found that numerous products used by the patients contained a contaminant commonly found in THC vaping products called vitamin E acetate.

The CDC and various state health departments have reported widespread use of products containing THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive substance within cannabis, among people who became ill. Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, also said on the call that the agency's Office of Criminal Investigations is running a parallel investigation aimed at determining what is making people sick, and the dynamics of the supply chain.

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IL has reported an eighth death related to the outbreak, state epidemiologist Jennifer Layden said on a conference call with reporters. 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.

Health officials in OR said the person who died there had been using a TCH vape pen.

Health officials urged people not to buy vaping products off the street or modify them.

"The e-cigarette and vaping-related lung injuries are serious". Those who continue should monitor themselves for symptoms such as breathing issues, dry cough or chest pain, and in some cases diarrhea, vomiting and fever, and should not hesitate to seek help from their doctors. The FDA is not seeking to prosecute individual e-cigarette users, Zeller clarified.

"We weren't expecting a big clinical signal because they've only been really popular since 2010 or 2012", said Dr. Laura Crotty Alexander, a lung specialist at the University of California at San Diego who has been studying vaping's effect on health since 2013.

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