Mystery illness potentially linked to vaping sickens 11 in Indiana, almost 100 nationally

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Nearly 100 people, 11 of them in Indiana, have developed severe respiratory illnesses after vaping, and state and federal health officials aren’t sure why.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tracked 94 cases of the lung sickness in 14 states since the end of June. Wisconsin has the largest cluster, with 30.

The Indiana State Department of Health has confirmed that six of the 11 cases it is investigating are linked to vaping, said agency spokeswoman Greta Sanderson in an email.

Vaping illness has wide range of symptoms

Sanderson, like other public health officials, said there’s no evidence that the illness is caused by a virus or bacteria that is spread from person to person.

Typically, patients report shortness of breath, cough, and fatigue, which worsen over the course of days or weeks to the point where they require hospitalization, according to the CDC.

Other symptoms include fever, chest pain, and gastrointestinal symptoms including weight loss, nausea and diarrhea.

Some of the patients grew so ill that they had to go on a ventilator to help with their breathing, but improved when treated with steroids, the CDC said in a bulletin to healthcare providers.

What they did have in common? All of the patients reported that they had vaped in the weeks or months before falling ill.

Continue reading this story with our news gathering partners at The Indianapolis Star.

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