State News

State’s vaping illness cases approaches 50; first death reported in Tennessee

{Editor’s Note: This article includes updated details and was originally published on Sept. 11, Sept.25. and again on Oct. 2}

STATE NEWS | Health — Tennessee health officials have upped the number of vaping-related lung illnesses in the state to 53 total cases … up from 36 just two weeks ago. The State Department of Health again stressed on Monday that no single product could be linked to all cases. On Thursday, Tennessee confirmed its first vaping-related death, a Nashville patient with serious respiratory disease linked to vaping.

As of Tuesday, the CDC’s confirmed 1,479 cases across 49 states (all except Alaska) with 33 confirmed deaths. Most of the patients reported a history of using THC-containing products. In particular, health officials stress not to use products obtained on the street from informal sources. Click here to review the entire report.

On September 27, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released new findings in the vaping lung illness outbreak associating at least some of those cases to THC-containing products. Despite the new THC link, the CDC also stresses that all the vaping illnesses can still not be linked to a specific chemical exposure at this time. They state that no single product or substance has been linked to all the vaping illness cases and that more information is needed before they can make that determination.

One of the issues for health providers is vaping’s popularity among younger users, particularly those that are under the age of 18. At least one of the Tennessee cases, a teen in Monroe County, has been linked to vaping marijuana products. TDOH reported last week that 36 residents showed evidence of respiratory illness with no other cause identified, and report vaping in the last 90 days.

The CDC continues to urge people to refrain from using e-cigarettes and vapes, altogether, but especially devices that contain THC. If you’ve used a vaping device in the past 90 day and exhibit any of the symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, fever, or abominable pain). They also warn against using any vaping products off the streets or modifying them at home. •

{Editor’s Note: This is an ongoing story and we will add additional facts as they become available.}

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