Missouri Records First Vaping-Related Death

Mysterious outbreak of vaping-related illnesses jumps to 530 cases

As of September 17, there have been 530 confirmed and probable cases of lung disease associated with e-cigarette product use, or vaping, reported in 38 states and the US Virgin Islands.

Missouri joined the list later Thursday, announcing the death this week of a man in his mid-40s at a St. Louis hospital.

He began experiencing trouble breathing which gradually got worse before he was taken to hospital in St Louis on August 22, where he died on Thursday.

All reported cases have a history of e-cigarette product use or vaping. "He started out with shortness of breath, and it rapidly progressed and deteriorated, developing into what is called acute respiratory distress syndrome".

Eight vaping-related deaths have been recorded in the U.S. The man, whose name was not released, had normal lung function before he started using e-cigarettes in May.

In addition, the FDA said its criminal investigations unit is tracking leads, and that most point to black-market vaping products. Also, if someone uses e-cigarettes, they shouldn't buy products off the street (for example, e-cigarettes with cannabinoids).

The case involved an adult who experienced symptoms similar to those reported in other states, where people who used vape or e-cigarette products reported coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever and abdominal pain.

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"People are dying", she said.

"We weren't expecting a big clinical signal because they've only been really popular since 2010 or 2012", said Dr. Laura Crotty Alexander, a lung specialist at the University of California at San Diego who has been studying vaping's effect on health since 2013. So far, no single vaping product or ingredient has been linked to the illnesses, though most patients reported vaping THC, the high-producing ingredient in marijuana.

Almost three fourths of the cases were reported in men; 67 percent were between ages 18-34; 16 percent are under age 18; and 17 percent are 35 years or older.

The known tally from the mysterious lung disease has jumped from 380 to 530, though the number of deaths stood unchanged at seven, according to a weekly report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

King County's public health department is warning people not to vape at all.

The department is recommending that Virginians "consider not using any e-cigarette products".

He said American public health officials learned that those who fell sick had vaped within the past 90 days.

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