(Reuters) – U.S. health officials on Thursday reported 37 deaths and 1,888 confirmed and probable cases of a mysterious respiratory illness tied to vaping.

FILE PHOTO: A man uses a vape device in this illustration picture, September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Illustration/File Photo

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had reported 34 deaths and 1,604 confirmed and probable cases last week. As of Oct. 29, the deaths have occurred in 24 states and among ages 17-75 years, according to CDC data.

Additionally, health officials in Massachusetts on Wednesday reported one new death, taking the state’s toll to two. (bit.ly/2oDpV78)

The agency has urged people not to use e-cigarettes with marijuana ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol, saying the high-inducing component may have a role in causing the illness.

The CDC has also said there may be multiple reasons behind the outbreak and that the cause may not be the same across the country.

Here’s what we know about the vaping-related deaths so far:

** States that have reported deaths, according to the CDC: Alabama, California (3), Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia (3), Illinois (2), Indiana (3), Kansas (2), Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota (3), Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon (2), Pennsylvania, Tennessee (2), Texas, Utah, and Virginia

** About 70% of the 1,378 patients, on whom data is available, are male, with 79% under 35 years (age data available for 1,364 patients), according to the CDC.

** Data shows all reported patients have a history of e-cigarette use or vaping.

** Patients have reported symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath or chest pain, as well as nausea or diarrhea, according to the CDC.

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** Kroger Co, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc and Walmart Inc have said they would stop selling e-cigarettes at their stores.

** Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said it will stop selling e-cigarette components in the United States.

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla, Vishwadha Chander and Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila



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