Vaping Illness Case Count Tops 1,000, With 18 Deaths : Shots
The rise in cases came both as a result of new cases and local health officials identifying older cases, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention principal deputy director said in a media briefing.
"We now have information for 578 patients with information on substances used in e-cigarette or vaping products in the three months before symptom onset", Schuchat said.
In Canada, a Quebec resident has been diagnosed as the country's first case of a severe vaping-related breathing illness. E-cigarettes should not be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women or people who have not previously used tobacco products, according to CDC.
USA health officials on Thursday reported 18 deaths due to a mysterious lung illness linked to e-cigarettes and said confirmed and probable cases of the illness had crossed the 1,000 mark. The median age of the patients who have died is about 50, officials say.
Gov. Lamont's office said the governor is working with officials from several state agencies that have cognizance over these issues - including the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, the Department of Public Health, and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services - to ensure that all state laws regarding e-cigarettes and vaping are being strictly enforced.
When health officials from Wisconsin and IL interviewed 86 people in their states who had become ill, nearly everyone said he or she had acquired their THC cartridges illegally - either from friends, family members or drug dealers.
The FDA said there now does not appear to be one product or substance involved in all of the cases. Of them, about 78% used products that contained THC. "Dank Vapes was the only e-cigarette product reported by one of the patients", according to the report from the two states.
"We're anxious that there are plenty of risky products still out there", the CDC's principal deputy director Dr. Anne Schuchat said during a briefing with reporters. "With all the data that I've been seeing, I don't know what safe is right now". "I can not stress enough that people should just avoid these products completely, and most especially avoid products that were purchased off the street or have been modified in any way".
Most of the recommendations, including banning the sales of flavored e-cigarettes, will require legislation, he said. She said the number would go up from eight inspectors now to 20. "Investigating this crisis is the FDA's top priority", she said.