(As of Friday, October 11th, 2019)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now confirmed 1,299 probable cases of vaping related illness across the United States. The number of deaths has jumped from 18 last week, to 29 as of today. A 17 year old boy from the Bronx died last week, marking the youngest death linked to vaping so far. Doctors are still unsure of what exactly is making people sick. On October 3rd, the CDC revealed that out of the 578 cases where doctors were aware of what their patients were inhaling, 78% of patients said they vaped THC, while 17% said they exclusively used nicotine products. Many have been diagnosed with lipoid pneumonia, which is when "oils or fats have entered the lungs that should not be there," said Daniel Fox, a pulmonologist and critical care expert at WakeMed. Lipoid pneumonia is typically found in elderly patients, and usually related to choking or aspiration, which is why Fox finds it unsettling to see so many young people being diagnosed One patient, 18 year old Adam Hergenrede, who admitted to using vape devices for over a year, was hospitalized with severe respiratory sickness in August. He said his doctor told him that he has the "lungs of a 70-year-old. The lack of scientific information regarding long-term health effects of vaping is a large concern. "We are in desperate need of facts," said Mitch Zeller of the FDA. The statistics regarding this mysterious illness are rapidly changing, as the number of cases continues to rise. Currently, doctors advise the public to avoid vaping completely, until more reliable information is made public.