'Illnesses and deaths linked to vaping have continued to increase around the United States, now totalling 1,080 cases and 19 deaths, health officials said.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said that cases had occurred in 48 states and the United States Virgin Islands. This week, Nebraska, Alabama, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia and New Jerseyreported deaths, which brought the total to 19 in 16 states.
The new case count reflects an increase of 275 in just the past week.
About half of the 275 were hospitalised in the past two weeks and the rest were older cases whose link to vaping has just been recognised, Dr Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, said during a news briefing.
She described the outbreak as “continuing at a brisk pace,” emphasised that the illnesses were serious and life-threatening, and called the proportion of patients hospitalised and in intensive care “just terrible.”
“We know that additional deaths are under investigation,” Dr Schuchat said.
About 70 per cent of the patients were male, 80 per cent under 35 years old and 16 per cent younger than 18, she said.'
Read more: Vaping linked to more than 1,000 illnesses in US, health officials say
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