United States deaths rise to 26, illnesses to 1,299


The number of vaping-related illnesses in the US continues to rise, now reaching about 1,300 cases and at least 26 deaths.

Texas' Department of State Health Services did not release additional information about the victim in a news release, but the Associated Press reported that the death involved an older woman in north Texas who died last week. The department also says that among the illnesses, almost 90% of patients reported vaping marijuana or THC, the high-producing ingredient in marijuana. About 80 per cent of patients were under age 35. The state also has not said what vaping device or material led to lung injury in that case.

But doctors studying lung tissue samples from people with vaping-related injuries have found that none of the cases actually had evidence of lipoid pneumonia, a rare condition typically linked to people accidentally inhaling oils into their lungs.

The CDC, US Food and Drug Administration, state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are continuing to investigate the multistage outbreak.

"Anyone who has used an e-cigarette in the last 90 days who is experiencing these symptoms should stop vaping immediately and visit their health care provider", the ISDH release said.

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About 15 per cent of the lung injury cases in the USA have been in those under 18 years old, Schuchat said.

The CDC has reported that all patients in the outbreak had a history of using e-cigarette products, and most have reported a history of using products containing tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the primary psychoactive component of cannabis.

The Centers for Disease Control says the number of deaths connected to using e-cigarettes or vapes hit 26, as of Tuesday.

In the US, some states, including New York, Michigan and Rhode Island, have banned the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes, while MA has gone a step further by imposing a four-month ban on all vaping products.