Around 500 people have been diagnosed with vaping-associated respiration illnesses; however, the cause remains unknown, U.S. health officials mentioned Thursday. The eighth loss of life was also reported.
In the meantime, the Food and Drug Administration revealed that its criminal investigations unit began tracking leads early on, as cases pointed to black-market vaping products. Mitch Zeller, the agency’s tobacco director, stressed that it’s not concerned with prosecuting people who use illegal products; however, is lending a hand due to the unit’s “special skills.”
On the report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 530 confirmed, and possible causes have been listed in 38 states and one U.S. territory, from 380 a week ago.
Missouri joined the list later Thursday, asserting the death this week of a person in his mid-40s in the St. Louis hospital.
Canada published its first case Wednesday, a high school student who was on life support and has since recovered.
All patients were using an electronic cigarette or other vaping devices.
Doctors have mentioned the illnesses resemble an inhalation injury, with the lungs reacting to a caustic substance. Thus far, no single vaping product or ingredient has been linked to the illnesses, although most patients described vaping THC, the high-producing ingredient in marijuana.
The person who died in Missouri informed his family he began vaping in May for chronic pain; however, investigators have not yet determined if he was vaping THC, based on a spokeswoman at Mercy Hospital St. Louis.
Two-thirds of the cases are involved in teenagers and adults around 18- to 34-year-olds.
Some of the first cases emerged in April. CDC hadn’t stated when most people fall to sick.
On Tuesday congressional subcommittee will hold a hearing on the outbreaks.