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2nd case of lung illness linked to vaping confirmed in King County

A woman in her 30s is the second confirmed case of lung-related illness linked to vaping in King County. There are now five total cases in Washington state.

SEATTLE — The second case of severe lung disease related to vaping has been confirmed in King County, health officials announced Friday.

Seattle and King County Public Health said a woman in her 30s was admitted to a King County hospital in mid-September with shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. She has been released and is recovering, officials said.

The woman reported vaping THC products purchased from legal marijuana shops along with nicotine products without THC. Health officials said they confirmed the case following a report by a healthcare provider.

Also see | Teen has 1st vaping-related lung illness confirmed in Washington state

“I would not be surprised if we don’t find a single product or explanation for these illnesses, but multiple possible causes that could lead to lung damage,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, a health officer for Public Health Seattle & King County.

The first case of vaping-related lung illness in King County was confirmed on September 11. Health officials said the teen was hospitalized in August for five days for "acute respiratory failure." Essentially, the teen wasn't getting enough oxygen through the lungs and into his bloodstream.

Dr. Duchin said the teen had been vaping for three years before he started exhibiting symptoms. At that time, he was not legally of age to purchase e-cigarettes.

Also see | Ask a doctor: What to know about vaping after 7 American deaths

Five cases of severe lung illness have been confirmed in Washington, according to the state Department of Health. One case was reported in Mason County, two cases in King County, and two cases in Spokane County.

As of September 18, there have been 530 confirmed or probable cases nationally and several deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.