More deaths expected from vaping lung illnesses, CDC says

An eighth person has died from a vaping-related lung illness. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported Thursday afternoon that a man in his mid-40s died this week in St. Louis. Health officials said the man had normal lung function before he started vaping in the spring.

He developed a mild respiratory illness which ultimately progressed, leading to hospitalization and death.

“This is an unfortunate case of a young man with no prior lung illness who started vaping because of chronic pain issues,” Dr. Michael Plisco, a pulmonologist at Mercy Hospital St. Louis, wrote in a statement.

“Once the lungs are injured by vaping, we don’t know how quickly it worsens and if it depends on other risk factors,” he continued.

Seven other patients have died from the illnesses: two in California, and one each in Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota and Oregon. Several of the victims also had underlying health conditions.

Earlier Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted the death toll would rise.

“We do expect others,” Schuchat said during a call with reporters.

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