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Maine CDC reports first case of vaping-related lung illness

State officials continue to look at other possible cases of illness related to e-cigarettes.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday reported the state's first case of acute lung illness related to the use of e-cigarettes, or vaping.

The individual, who officials did not identify, reported symptoms similar to those identified in other states including cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, and abdominal pain.

"This case highlights the risks and uncertainty about the short- and long-term effects of e-cigarette use," Maine CDC Director Nirav D. Shah said in a release. "People who do not vape should not start and people who do should seriously consider the health risks in using e-cigarette products."

Maine is the now the 39th state to report vaping-related illnesses.

The CDC compared the patient's symptoms to those experienced by patients in other states and consulted with the U.S. Center for Disease Control, which concurred.

Robert Long, spokesman for the Maine CDC, said officials are "looking at other possible cases."

After cases were identified in other states, "we really started looking and actively reaching out to other healthcare providers to look at patients who have presented [similar] symptoms ... so we could determine whether someone who went to a healthcare provider earlier this year with these symptoms might fall into this category," Long said.

Seven deaths in six states have been attributed to the illness.

The specific cause of this illness is being investigated by health officials across the country. No specific e-cigarette product or substance is linked to all cases. In other states, most patients reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis. Other patients reported using both THC and nicotine, while a third group reported using e-cigarettes containing only nicotine.

The Maine CDC suggests that anyone who has used e-cigarettes and experiences symptoms of lung illness see a healthy care provider.

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