New data show the number of confirmed and probable lung injury cases associated with the use of e-cigarette or vaping products in the United States (US) is continuing to rise.
Figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show 1,479 cases have now been identified. Cases have been reported in every state in the US, except for Alaska, as well as in the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands. As of October 15, 33 deaths had been confirmed in 24 states, up from 26 the previous week.
In its latest update, the CDC said it is now undertaking additional laboratory testing as it continues its investigations into the cause of the outbreak. It is currently validating targeted methods to test chemicals in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, blood or urine and has received initial samples for testing. The CDC is also testing pathologic specimens, including lung biopsy or autopsy specimens. In addition, it is validating methods for aerosol emission testing of case-associated product samples from e-cigarette or vaping products and e-liquids.
It is believed results from the testing may provide insight into the nature of the chemical exposure(s) contributing to this outbreak.