Six more people in Connecticut have now been hospitalized for severe lung disease that could be connected to vaping or e-cigarettes, according to the state Department of Public Health, bringing the number of cases in the state to 11.
As of Sept. 6, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was aware of more than 450 cases nationwide of lung illness associated with using e-cigarettes or vaping. The investigation has not yet identified any single substance or product that is linked to all cases.
Connecticut health officials are urging people not to use e-cigarette, vapes, electronic nicotine delivery systems, liquid cartridges or e-pipes amid the national investigation into lung injuries.
The state was previously investigating five illnesses and said Thursday that six more Connecticut residents were hospitalized for severe lung disease, bringing the total to 11 cases reported to the Department of Public Health.
The first case of lung disease possibly tied to vaping was reported to the department on Aug. 14.
Seven patients are residents of Fairfield County, three reside in New Haven County, and one resides in New London County.
All patients are between 15 and 50, all are recovering and most have been discharged from hospitals, state officials said.
“Connecticut residents should consider not using e-cigarette products, at least for now, while we and our counterparts in other states and the federal government look into what is causing these severe respiratory symptoms,” Connecticut DPH Commissioner Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell said in a statement. “The exact cause of these illnesses has not yet been identified, but we have seen patients suffer from severe infections, and there have been fatalities in a number of states. This is a serious public health concern.”
The CDC recommends that people who do use e-cigarette or vapor products not buy them off the street or modify products or add any substances that are not intended by the manufacturer.
People who use e-cigarettes or vapor products and are concerned about respiratory symptoms should consider seeking medical advice.
On Wednesday, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters that the Trump administration is preparing to ban flavored e-cigarettes as federal health officials call for restrictions to combat an outbreak of a mysterious lung disease that has sickened hundreds and killed at least six people.