WASHINGTON D.C. (KETK) – More than 500 people across 38 states have become sick with mysterious vaping-related illnesses, a near-40 percent spike from last week and the FDA revealed it has opened a criminal probe into the outbreak.
According to multiple reports, 530 people are reported sick, up from 380 just last week. CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat said in a conference call with reporters that more than half of the patients are males under the age of 25.
Reports also say that the FDA has been pursuing a criminal investigation shortly since the illnesses began emerging.
Many have reported they vaped using THC, which is what produces the high in marijuana. However, some have said they used nicotine and even others say they use both.
The exact cause of what is causing all the illnesses in vapers remains unknown.
“This is a complex investigation. It spans many states, involves hundreds of cases and a wide variety of substances and products,”Anne Schuchat, CDC Principal Deputy Director
Schuchat also warned about buying THC in a state where it’s not yet legal, such as Texas. She said that it is entirely unregulated and you never know what happened to the product before you buy it.
The FDA emphasized in conference call that they are looking into the supply chain for the vaping products, not into the people who acquired them. They are trying to reassure victims that they are not looking to pursue criminal charges against them.
KETK News has a live, digital-only roundtable centered around vaping Thursday night. It will be streamed on our website, Facebook page, and mobile app.