CDC: Vaping lung injuries on the decline from peak

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The number of deaths and injuries linked to a vaping disease have declined from their peak and appear to be leveling off, according to new data released Tuesday by federal health authorities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2,561 hospitalized cases have been reported in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands, since the summer.

As of Friday, 55 deaths have been confirmed in 27 states and the District of Columbia, the CDC said. The new numbers show the number of hospitalizations have slowed in recent weeks; prior to the most recent update, there were 2,506 hospitalized cases and 54 deaths. 

The agency said its data seemed to show that the outbreak began in June and peaked in September, when cases were skyrocketing each week. 

Even though the number of hospitalizations has declined since the peak, the CDC said they have not returned to levels before June.

The investigation has zeroed in on vitamin E acetate, mostly found in illegal THC vaping products, as one of the main causes. 

However, the CDC cautioned that continued vigilance is necessary, as new data show that certain groups of patients released from the hospital — such as people with chronic medical conditions like cardiac disease and diabetes — are more likely to be re-hospitalized or die.

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