(Reuters) – U.S. health officials on Thursday reported 18 deaths due to a mysterious lung illness linked to e-cigarettes and said confirmed and probable cases of the illness had crossed the 1,000 mark.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 1,080 cases had been reported across 48 states and one territory so far, compared with 805 cases last week.
The latest figures also included recent reporting of previously identified patients, the CDC said.
The 15 states that have confirmed vaping-related deaths are Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon and Virginia.
Investigators have not linked the illnesses to any specific product or compound, but have pointed to vaping oils containing marijuana ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Over 440 samples of products from 18 states have been collected to date and those numbers continue to increase, Food and Drug Administration officials said on a media call on Thursday.
The FDA said there currently does not appear to be one product or substance involved in all of the cases.
The CDC last week recommended that people should stop using e-cigarettes with THC.
(Reporting by Manas Mishra and Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru and Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago; Editing by Anil D’Silva)