Vaping lung injury toll tops 1,000 as CDC investigation continues
“We are concerned — with hundreds of new cases reported each week — that we’re looking at a very concerning outbreak, very difficult to control,” Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said in a press call today. “The data that we’re getting does not suggest this has peaked. It doesn’t suggest this is declining.”
The CDC also announced that there have now been 18 deaths related to the outbreak. Researchers found that about 70 percent of individual injuries were to male patients, and 80 percent were to patients under age 35. The deaths were a different story — people who died in the outbreak were older, ranging in age from 20s to 70s, with an average age of 49.5. Women also make up a larger proportion of the fatal cases, but investigators cautioned that, with just 18 reported deaths, it was too early to draw conclusions from the data.
“This is a complex investigation, unlike any we’ve seen,” said Judy McMeekin, the deputy associate commissioner for regulatory affairs at the FDA. She said that many of the samples that investigators have collected from patients haven’t had much liquid in them, limiting both the number and types of tests that are possible.