Authorities in the United States (US) are reporting that the death toll in the outbreak of lung injuries associated with e-cigarette use has risen to 26 from 18 last week.
As of 8 October 2019, 1,299 confirmed and probable lung injury cases associated with the use of e-cigarette or vaping products have been reported by 49 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In the previous week, 1,080 cases had been reported.
Among 1,043 patients with data on age and sex, the median age of affected patients is 24 years, ranging from 13 to 75 years.
Almost two months after authorities confirmed the first death related to the outbreak, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say the specific chemical exposure(s) causing lung injuries associated with e-cigarette use or vaping remains unknown. However, it added that the latest findings do suggest products containing tetrahydrocannabinol play a role in the outbreak.
Meanwhile, the CDC has urged healthcare providers to consider respiratory infections as well as lung injury associated with vaping in patients presenting with respiratory symptoms and a history of using e-cigarettes during flu season.