ATLANTA, Ga. – The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Friday that it’s unlikely that a single brand is responsible for the outbreak of lung illnesses associated with vaping.
As of Wednesday, the CDC says all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have reported 2,291 patients hospitalized with EVALI, the name given to the mysterious illness.
A total of 48 deaths have occurred in 25 states and D.C., according to the CDC. That’s 2% of total reported cases.
Since February, the largest number of hospitalized EVALI patients was reported during the week of September 15. Since then, the CDC says there has been a steady decline in hospitalized EVALI patients reported weekly to the CDC.
Because most patients reported using THC-containing products before noticing symptom, the CDC recommends that the public not use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC.
While health officials don’t believe one brand is to blame for the outbreak, they say “Dank Vapes” is the most frequently reported product brand, used by 56% of hospitalized EVALI patients nationwide. With that said, the CDC says regional differences in THC products have been noted. TKO and Smart Cart brands were more commonly reported by patients in the West region compared with other regions.
“The nationwide diversity of THC-containing products reported by EVALI patients highlights that it is not likely a single brand that is responsible for the EVALI outbreak, and that regional differences in THC-containing products might be related to product sources,” wrote the CDC in a report.
Although it appears that vitamin E acetate is associated with EVALI, the CDC says many substances and product sources are being investigated, and there might be more than one cause. Therefore, while the investigation continues, officials say people should consider refraining from the use of all e-cigarette, or vaping, products.