CDC narrows investigation of mysterious vaping-related lung disease

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THC may be to blame in Minnesota's severe respiratory illnesses linked to vaping.

Max Faulkner | Tribune News Service | Getty Images

U.S. health, health, medical, health, medical, health, health

Doctors suspect vaping as a possible cause of illnesses, which are spread out over 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The CDC said it's homeless in the 380 likely to have confirmed, by the more than 450 "possible" illnesses it was reviewing last week. The agency said.

The outbreak has heightened scrutiny of vaping and prompted lawmakers to call for stricter regulation of e-cigarettes. President Donald Trump this week he said his administration would move forward to sweep the market of flavored e-cigarettes.

At least six people have got illnesses, which doctors say lipoid pneumonia, a specific type of pneumonia that occurs when oil enters the lungs. The most recent death toll in Kansas was over 50 years old.

The New York State Department of Health and Safety, Acetate, A Key Focus on the Department's Investigation into Potential Causes of Vaping-Associated Lung Disease

Source: New York State Department of Health

Many of the people who were otherwise healthy. Of the 53 patients studied in Illinois and Wisconsin, the median age was 19 years old, officials wrote in a New England Journal of Medicine report last week.

In many cases, people got both nicotine and THC, the marijuana compound that produces at high, the CDC told reporters last week. Some reported using both THC and e-cigarettes while a smaller group reported using only nicotine.

Many samples showed high levels of vitamin E acetate, the Food and Drug Administration said in a consumer alert last week.

Vitamin E is typically used as a supplement or added to skincare products. But it is also possible to add the oil to the form.

Health and safety are urging people to avoid using e-cigarettes and THC

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