In a media teleconference, the heads of the investigation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained the basis for pointing the finger at Vitamin E acetate. The substance was cited as a possible problem early on but only recent testing has established it as a bona fide suspect, the team explained.
breakthrough in the investigation
Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there has been a breakthrough in the investigation into the outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries that have led to the deaths of 39 people and sickened more than 2,000 others.
Investigators announced Friday that they have detected a chemical compound called vitamin E acetate in all the samples of lung fluid collected from 29 patients who were hospitalized after vaping, suggesting a possible culprit for the spate of lung injuries that has swept across the U.S.
“vitamin E acetate is a known additive used to dilute liquid in e-cigarettes or vaping products that contain THC.”
THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, was found in 23 of the 29 samples tested, officials said Friday. Nicotine was detected in 16 samples, which came from 10 different states across the country, the officials said.
“We have a potential toxin of concern from biological samples in patients,” Schuchat said. “We are in a better place than we were a few weeks ago in terms of finding a culprit.”
The CDC confirmed 2,051 probable cases as of Tuesday, with 163 new cases diagnosed in the last week. Patients have been found in 49 states and the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. The number of confirmed fatalities rose from 37 last week to 39.
Health officials are calling the disease EVALI, short for e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury. Most patients have reported vaping THC, according to the CDC. The latest national and state findings suggest products containing THC, particularly those bought off the street or other informal sources like through illicit dealers, are linked to most of the cases, the CDC said.
Schuchat said Friday that the number of lung illness cases appears to be declining, but added some states are still being hit hard and public health officials continue to be very active in the investigation.
Sourced from: techcrunch.com
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