Number of vaping-related illnesses appearing to level off

Number of vaping-related illnesses appearing to level off
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Cases of vaping-related lung illness appear to be leveling off or declining, an official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday.

But it's not clear why that is or what is making people sick, said Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director for the CDC.

Since the outbreak began earlier this year, the CDC says, there have been 1,604 confirmed and probable lung injury cases, including 34 deaths.
 
That's an increase of 125 cases from what the CDC reported last week.
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"Although the epidemic curve ... suggests the trajectory may be leveling off or even declining, you may wonder if the peak of cases has passed," Schuchat said in a call with reporters. 
 
"This pattern may or may not be confirmed with additional time." 
 
The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration have not yet identified a brand, substance or device that has been associated with all cases.
 
But Schuchat noted most cases have been tied to THC vaping products, which are widely available on the black market. 
 
"It is also possible that our consumer warnings about the risks associated with the use of e-cigarettes or vaping products that contain THC are having an effect," she said. 
 
The drop-off, however, may also be attributed to less intensive investigations of possible cases by local health departments or a lag in reporting to the CDC, she said.
 
Local and federal law enforcement efforts might also be impacting supply chains in some areas of the country, making the products harder to get, she said.