Written by Matt Richtel
The number of vaping-related lung illnesses has risen to 530 probable cases according to an update Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a Missouri man became the eighth to die from the mysterious ailments.
During a news briefing, Dr Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, said officials expect more deaths because some people are suffering from severe lung illnesses.
But US public health officials said they still were unable to pinpoint the cause, or causes, of the sicknesses that have resulted in hundreds of hospitalizations, with many in intensive care units.
Schuchat said some patients are on ventilators and therefore are unable to tell investigators what substances they vaped. “I wish we had more answers,” she said.
The CDC provided the first demographic snapshot of the afflicted: Nearly three-quarters are male, two-thirds between 18 and 34, and 16% are 18 or younger. “More than half of cases are under 25 years of age,” Schuchat said.
Illnesses have now been reported in 38 states and one U.S. territory.
In the most recent case, in St. Louis, officials said Thursday that a man in his mid-40s who had chronic pain had begun vaping in May. He was hospitalized Aug. 22 with respiratory problems and died Wednesday.