U.S. CDC activates emergency operations centre for vaping-related illnesses

A display of JUUL vaping pens at Spokane Cigar

A display of JUUL vaping pens at Spokane Cigar

On Aug. 29, the health department alerted health care providers to watch for vaping-related illnesses.

The two cases mark three total in Washington that match what the Centers for Disease Control describe, says Washington state Health Officer Kathy Lofy in a news release.

Two cases of a severe lung illness linked to vaping have been confirmed in Spokane County, according to the Spokane Regional Health District.

They are the second and third cases reported in Washington in the last week.

"CDC has made it a priority to find out what is causing this outbreak of e-cigarette or vaping-related injuries and deaths", said CDC Director Robert Redfield, M.D.in a statement "Activation of CDC's Emergency Operations Center allows us to enhance operations and provide additional support to CDC staff working to protect our Nation from this serious health threat".

Last week, officials announced that a King County teen was the first in the state to be diagnosed with severe lung disease related to vaping.

"Vaping of e-cigarettes should be highly discouraged at this time", said Dr. Marc Williams, a toxicologist and vaping expert with the Army Public Health Center's toxicology directorate.

A common product, device or additive among the three has not been identified, but an investigation is ongoing.

Officials said their investigation into the specifics of products used, devices, additives and definitive cause remains ongoing.

Officials say there is a LOT more investigating that needs to be done.

Troops and their loved ones may want to discontinue using products including e-cigarettes, e-hookahs, vape pens and electronic nicotine delivery systems until the CDC completes its investigation, the Defense Health Agency said in a post on Thursday.

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