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‘A statewide outbreak’: Two new cases of lung disease linked to vaping in Washington

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SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. -- Washington health officials say severe pulmonary disease linked to vaping is now a "statewide outbreak" after two new cases were confirmed in eastern Washington.

This brings the total confirmed cases in Washington state to three, according to the state Department of Health.

The first confirmed case is a King County teenager who was hospitalized for acute respiratory failure. He spent several days in an intensive care unit in August and is still recovering, public health officials said.

The two newest cases are a patient in their teens and a patient in their 20s, both of whom live in Spokane County. Spokane County health officials said last week they were investigating three possible cases. The two new confirmed cases were among the possible cases being investigated last week.

“The symptoms of these patients match what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have asked all state and local health jurisdictions to be on the lookout for in regards to the nationwide investigation into this matter,” said Washington State Health Officer Kathy Lofy. “This is now a state-wide outbreak.”

All three confirmed cases reported vaping prior to illness, but state health officials have not yet identified a product, device or additive that are common to all three cases.  Investigations into the specifics of products, device and additives are ongoing.

While the CDC investigation is ongoing and has not identified a definitive cause, all reported cases have a history of using vaping devices.

In August, the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration launched a multi-state investigation regarding an outbreak of severe lung disease associated with using vaping devices/e-cigarette products.

State health official continue to urge clinicians to report any known hospitalized cases of severe lung disease associated with vaping to their local health department.

“We will continue to update the public on the status of the investigation and steps they can take to protect their health,” Lofy said.

The Department of Health will update confirmed cases on its website as facts become available.

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