A severe and puzzling lung disease linked to electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices has doctors across the U.S. scrambling to diagnose and care for patients struggling to breathe. On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the number of vaping-related illnesses jumped to at least 450 cases in 33 states and cautioned people about using e-cigarettes, especially those bought off the street.
As of Friday, five deaths from vaping-related respiratory illness were reported.
Electronic cigarettes have been touted as a way for people to quit combustible cigarettes, known to cause nearly a half million deaths per year.
But doctors treating the current spate of vaping-related illnesses say the patients they tend to see are not long-time smokers. Most are young and otherwise healthy.
Doctors said that those who vape should seek medical help if they start developing symptoms, such as shortness of breath, cough, fever, chest pain, extreme fatigue, vomiting or diarrhea.