CDC issues urgent alert telling Americans to stop vaping due to growing number of illnesses

CDC reports 450 possible vaping illnesses across 33 states

The CDC is investigating vaping-related illnesses.

DETROIT – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an urgent alert Friday, telling Americans to stop vaping amid an investigation into a string of severe lung injuries.

CDC officials launched a multistate investigation into the rapidly growing number of vaping-related respiratory illnesses. Michigan is part of the investigation. The warning comes as health officials in Indiana have announced a new death tied to e-cigarettes.

Officials are reporting 450 possible vaping-related illnesses across 33 states.

At least three people have died, and all three people are believed to have used e-cigarettes, officials said.

"This is a tragedy for the family involved and a great concern for us," said Pamela Pontones, the Indiana deputy health commissioner.

The exact cause of the outbreak remains a mystery. Many affected patients also reported using THC, officials said.

"I didn't think that little pod could do so much damage on my body," said Adam Hergenreder, 18, who was rushed to the hospital last weekend.

Hergenreder is now taking steroids and antibiotics and using supplemental oxygen to recover.

"He's living proof of what it does," said he mother, Polly Hergenreder.

A new editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine took a closer look at more than 50 cases in Illinois and Wisconsin. It found most patients were healthy, male and had a median age of 19.

A third required ventilation and 98% were hospitalized, officials said.

CDC officials believe a chemical is responsible, but a single substance, product or device hasn't yet been identified.

In the meantime, health officials are warning citizens not to use e-cigarettes or buy vaping products off the street.

A fourth death is also under investigation in connection with the outbreak.

CDC officials said e-cigarette use is never safe for young people or pregnant women, but now, they're concerned about the safety to everyone.

About the Authors:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.