Vaping illness tops 2,000 patients as spread slows

Vaping illness tops 2,000 patients as spread slows
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The number of people who have become sick after vaping has surpassed 2,000, according to data released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As of Tuesday, the CDC had confirmed 2,051 probable lung injury cases associated with e-cigarettes since the outbreak started earlier this year. The illnesses have been reported in every state except Alaska, including the District of Columbia. 

That's an increase of 163 cases from last week as the spread of the illness has slowed from its peak. The CDC also confirmed 39 deaths in 24 states and D.C., an increase of two fatalities from last week. 

Most of the patients who reported symptoms were male, with ages ranging from 17 to 75. 

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The CDC still hasn't identified a specific product or ingredient that is making people sick. The only thing in common between all cases is that patients had used e-cigarette products. 

Most of the patients had vaped THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, before becoming ill. THC was present in most of the samples collected, and many patients had purchased those products off the street.

But it's not clear if it's the THC or any number of chemicals and substances that are found in vaping liquids are causing the lung illnesses.

The CDC said people should consider refraining from using any vaping products, since the specific compound or ingredient causing lung injury are not yet known.

The agency has also recommended that the best way to avoid potentially harmful effects is to not use THC, including through e-cigarette products.