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Vaping-Related Lung Disease Confirmed in More Than 1,000 People in 48 States, 18 Dead

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue their investigation into vaping-related lung disease, more than 1,000 people have been diagnosed with the mysterious condition.

As of Oct. 1, the organization had uncovered 1,080 probable and confirmed lung injury cases associated with e-cigarette use in 48 states and the Virgin Islands. In addition, there have been 18 deaths in 15 states: Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon and Virginia. The median age of patients who have died is 50 years old.

RELATED: See the Lung Cells of Patients with Severe, Vaping-Related Pulmonary Disease Up Close

The CDC has gathered information on the vaping habits of 578 of the patients. The breakdown, which is consistent with previous data, is:

  • 78 percent reported using THC products, some exclusively and some not 
  • 37 percent of the total 578 used only THC products
  • 17 percent reported only using nicotine products
Dates of symptom onset and hospital admission for patients with lung injury associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping — United States, March 31–September 28, 2019. Courtesy of CDC.

What remains unclear is whether a specific chemical is associated with the outbreak. No specific product (device or liquid) has been associated with all cases.

RELATED: 7 Dead from ‘Severe Pulmonary Disease’ Related to Vaping: What Clinicians Should Know

To help uncover some of these answers, the CDC is calling on healthcare providers to:

  • Report cases of lung injury of unclear etiology and a history of e-cigarette or vaping product use within the past 90 days to state or local health departments.
  • Ask all patients who report e-cigarette or vaping product use within the last 90 days about signs and symptoms of respiratory illness.
  • For patients suffering from a lung injury with a suspected, vaping-related etiology, obtain a detailed history, including: substance used and method, substance source, device used, purchase location, whether they shared vaping products with others.
  • Ask if the patient has any remaining vaping products, and coordinate testing with local health departments.
  • Evaluate and treat for other possible causes of illness.
  • Consider possible treatments/procedures previously implemented for vaping-related illnesses, including corticosteroids, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and lung biopsies. Follow up with the patient as necessary.
  • Consider asking the medical examiner or coroner’s office and hospital pathologists to report possible deaths, especially those without an alternative, likely diagnosis.

For more information, visit the CDC website.


Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with E-Cigarette Use, or Vaping, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Recommendations for Clinicians, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last Updated 10/4/2019

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