Linked deaths rise to 33 as officials expand lab testing, CDC says

Grant Boone
October 18, 2019

With the number of suspect cases growing statewide and nationally, Gov. Charlie Baker on September 24t announced a public health emergency and a four-month statewide ban on sales of all vaping products in MA. All 29 patients' medical records have been reviewed by DPH.

According to the MDH, more than 1,300 lung injury cases associated with vaping in 49 states, Washington, D.C., and one territory have been reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of October 17, 53 cases of vaping-related illness have been reported across the state. Ten percent said they only vaped nicotine, although doctors caution that people may be reluctant to admit to using marijuana. "The second patient had severe underlying conditions and is believed to have vaped unknown products in addition to nicotine", the agency said in a statement.

Of the 29 cases, 10 are confirmed and 19 are probable.

Vaping-related illnesses in the USA are still rising, though at a slightly slower pace.

Even without acute lung injuries, e-cigarette use concerns Lynfield.

DPH has conducted patient interviews in 12 of the 29 cases reported to CDC and continues to contact patients for interviews.

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"This complex investigation spans nearly all states, involves over a thousand patients, and involves a wide variety of brands and substances and e-cigarette, or vaping, products", The CDC said in its update.

CDC is due to update the number of illnesses and deaths later on Thursday.

MA health officials have reported 10 new cases of vaping-associated pulmonary injury to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The majority of those affected by the outbreak are young people, with about 80% of cases occurring in people under age 35. Of those 20 cases, 13 reported using THC only, seven reported THC and nicotine, and eight reported vaping nicotine only.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker last month announced a statewide ban on the sale of vaping products, a measure that has been challenged in court.

Bharel said Wednesday that the ban is "absolutely" still the right move to "protect our communities in MA from the potential negative effects of vaping and e-cigarettes". "During this time, we highly recommend that people refrain from any vaping products", Holzman said. "And the ban allows us a pause, so we can do these investigations and further understand and put in regulatory framework to protect all of us, and especially our youth".

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