King County confirms second case of mysterious lung disease associated with vaping

Grant Boone
September 21, 2019

More than 500 people have been diagnosed with vaping-related breathing illnesses, but the cause remains unknown, US health officials said Thursday.

Another vaping death south of the border. He developed mild respiratory symptoms that worsened and was hospitalized on August 22.

State and county health officials announced Friday the first confirmed case of severe pulmonary disease associated with vaping in the state.

We do not yet know the specific cause of these lung injuries.

Initial data showed most patients having reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing THC or products containing nicotine; some patients reported using both types of products. A week ago, the CDC stated its initial findings from the probe point to clinical similarities among those affected.

The latest vape victim was said to be using the electronic devices to smoke THC - the ingredient in marijuana - for chronic pain.

Seven of these cases, including this first death, have been confirmed using the case definition developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition to the new numbers, officials have also revealed that the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations has been probing the matter alongside the ongoing public health investigation. Of those cases, six people died.

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"There is no consistent pattern when it comes to ... what products plural are being used, how they're being used, where they might have been purchased, and what might have happened to the products along the way, from the time that they were put into the hands of the end user, to the moment of aerosolization, and, inhalation", Zeller said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now investigating more than 150 products and substances and said it has activated its criminal investigations arm to explore the supply chain of vaping products and identify the cause of the outbreak.

Some people - especially youth and young adults, women who are pregnant and adults who do not now smoke - should not vape, CDC officials said. "I urge Montanans to refrain from using e-cigarettes, considering the existing unknown health consequences", Holzman said.

Nacca is treating patients suffering initially with symptoms that include upset stomach and nausea, which slowly progress to shortness of breath, fatigue, and fever.

Kristen Maki, a spokesperson for DOH, said, "Vaping products contain other harmful chemicals", but did not say that DOH is warning people to stop vaping cannabis entirely, as King County's health department has.

If people who vape experience symptoms, they should seek medical care.

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