US cuts vaping-related illness total under refined case definition

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CHICAGO: US health officials on Thursday (Sep 12) cut the number of lung illnesses linked to e-cigarettes and vaping products under investigation to 380 as states began assessing patients based on a narrower case definition issued late last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The revised total now only includes confirmed and probable cases. The CDC had previously reported it was investigating more than 450 "possible" cases in the multistate-outbreak of the mysterious lung illness.

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Six people have died from vaping-related illness, a number that remains unchanged, the CDC said. The deaths were reported in California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, and Oregon.

As of Sep 11, an additional three states have reported cases of the severe lung illness linked to vaping, raising the total to 36 states plus the US Virgin Islands, the agency said.

The CDC defines confirmed cases as patients who developed a breathing illness after vaping and underwent extensive testing that ruled out an infection. A probable case is someone who developed a lung illness after vaping and underwent some testing.

While the rash of illnesses has not yet been linked to a specific pro