Mysterious illness linked to vaping hits 14 US states

Almost 100 cases of mysterious lung illnesses across 14 US states have been linked to vaping by health officials – including products containing cannabis.

Many of the patients are teens and young adults and symptoms
include difficulty breathing, a cough, vomiting, fever and chest pain, reports the
Washington Post. Many of those affected have been hospitalised and some were
placed on ventilators.

At least 31 cases have been confirmed and dozens more are
under investigation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told
the paper officials are working with health departments in California,
Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin after “a cluster of pulmonary
illnesses linked to e-cigarette use”.

CDC officials said they were probing 94 possible cases in 14
states but there is no evidence of an infectious disease.

Patients have described vaping a variety of substances, including nicotine and cannabis-based products. The outbreak has not been linked to a single source.

E-cigarettes are generally thought to be safer than cigarettes,
which kill up to half of all lifetime users, according to the World Health
Organization.

But the long-term health effects of the devices are still
largely unknown. In April, the US Food and Drug Administration began an
investigation into seizures among e-cigarette users.

Emily Chapman, chief medical officer at Children’s
Minnesota, which has cared for four teens with lung illnesses, told the
Washington Post: “We haven’t had that kind of history with vaping to be able to
assure anyone — teens included — that this is a safe practice.”

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