As of Sept. 24, 805 confirmed and probable cases of respiratory illness associated with electronic cigarette use, including 12 deaths, have been reported by 46 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to a CDC press release.
The new case count represents the first national aggregate based on the new CDC case definition that was developed and shared with states in late August. The previous case count, which was estimated to be around 450, was higher because it included possible cases that were still under investigation by states, CDC stated in the release.
The agency added that it is no longer reporting possible cases or cases under investigation but will continue to report confirmed and probable cases as one number due to the similarity of the definitions and is the most accurate way to understand the number of people affected.
As of Wednesday, 380 confirmed and probable cases of respiratory illness associated with electronic cigarette use, including six deaths, have been reported by 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to a CDC press release.
Source: Adobe Stock
CDC also said states have received the case definition to classify cases and that the classification process requires medical review and discussion with the treating health care providers. The agency expects the current number of confirmed and probable cases to increase as additional cases are classified.
For reference, CDC described characterized confirmed and probable cases in the following manner:
- A confirmed case is someone who recently used an e-cigarette product, developed a breathing illness and for whom testing did not show an infection. Other common causes of illness have been ruled out as the primary cause.
- A probable case is someone who recently used an e-cigarette product, developed a breathing illness and for whom some tests have been performed to rule out infection. Other common causes of illness have been ruled out as the primary cause.
As Healio Pulmonology previously reported, CDC is currently coordinating a multistate investigation with FDA and states and local health officials to conduct outbreak surveillance, help with data collection, provide technical assistance to states and more.
Healio Pulmonology is closely monitoring this story and will update the article as new information becomes available.
Editor's note: This story was updated on Sept. 26, 2019, to include new information from CDC on the number of confirmed and probable cases of lung injury and the number of confirmed deaths possibly related to e-cigarette use.