Minnesota reports 2nd and 3rd deaths from vaping-related lung disease

Cheryl Sanders
October 18, 2019

The news agency reported that this is the first death in the state. The cases span every state but Alaska, as well as the District of Columbia and one US territory.

Information provided to the CDC also includes evidence gathered from patient interviews and patient medical records reviews.

Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement that he was alarmed and had directed state officials to focus in particular on preventing vaping in schools and among young people.

But because the cause of the lung illnesses remains unclear, "the only way to assure that you are not at risk while the investigation continues is to consider refraining from use of all e-cigarette, or vaping, products", the CDC says on its website.

"It may be there's no one cause, no one causative agent, but multiple", Mitch Zeller, director of the Center for Tobacco Products at the US Food and Drug Administration, said at a recent news briefing.

Metro Public Health Department is working with TDH to investigate the death.

The other person could only confirm vaping nicotine but said the contents of other products they had used were 'unknown.' That person also suffered an underlying health condition, though it's not clear what kind.

Since the reporting of vaping-related lung injury cases has been mandated, the number of possible cases reported to DPH has risen, climbing from 83 reports on September 30 to 152 as of today, just two weeks later. One death has been blamed on an e-cigarette-related lung injury.

Kroger Co, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc and Walmart Inc have said they would stop selling e-cigarettes at their stores.

However, national and state data reviewed by the CDC suggests that products containing THC, the chemical in marijuana responsible for causing "highs" have been linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak.

Those who have died tend to be older, with a median age of 44, the CDC said.

Health officials have homed their investigation in on THC pods believed to be behind the majority of the illnesses, but warn that they can not yet rule out nicotine as a cause of the spate of illnesses.

The CDC has recently been testing patients' lung biopsies and autopsy specimens and is planning to test samples of blood and urine as well as fluid squirted into and then collected from the lungs.

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