HealthDay News — The number of Americans sickened with a severe lung injury tied to vaping just keeps rising, US health officials said Thursday.

“As of Oct. 8, 2019, 1299 confirmed and probable lung injury cases associated with use of electronic-cigarette, or vaping, products were reported by 49 states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands,” the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement. That is up from 1080 cases reported by the agency a week ago. The number of cases so severe that patients have died is also rising: 26 such deaths across 21 states have now been reported, up from the 18 deaths reported a week ago.

Products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) could be a main driver behind the illnesses. In the last CDC news briefing on the subject, held last week, CDC principal deputy director Anne Schuchat, MD, noted that “most patients report a history of using THC-containing products, and most patients are male and young people.”

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According to the new numbers, among people with information on the substances they vaped within 3 months of symptom onset, 76% reported using THC-containing products with or without nicotine-containing products, and 32% reported using only THC-containing products.

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