Vaping-related illness cases on the rise in Florida

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In this Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 photo, a woman loads liquid into her vaping device in Harmony, Pa. On Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, The Centers for Disease and Prevention on said 219 vaping-related illnesses in the U.S. were reported in the past week. The number continues to rise, now reaching about 1,300 cases and at least 26 deaths. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida) — Florida had 68 reported vaping-related illnesses as of Saturday, an increase of 16 cases last week, according to the state Department of Health.

The number of deaths in the state stemming from the lung illnesses remained at one. The counts reflect the number of cases reported to a Florida disease-surveillance system dubbed Merlin.

A surge in vaping-related illnesses across the country has drawn heavy attention recently. The nation had 1,299 lung-injury cases associated with the use of e-cigarettes or vaping, as of Oct. 8, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last week. The cases came from 49 states, the District of Columbia, and a U.S. territory.

Data suggest that products containing THC, “particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak,” according to the CDC website.

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