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Youngest patient suffering from possible vaping illness in Dallas is only 13, officials say

Dallas health officials say about half of the patients are younger than 21 years old.

DALLAS — Editor's note: The video above aired on Sept. 12

The number of possible cases related to vaping illnesses in Dallas are on the rise and the youngest patient is only 13 years old, health officials say. 

According to Dallas County Health and Human Services, there are at least 30 confirmed or possible cases of patients in Dallas hospitals. 

The victims are suffering from severe lung illnesses related to the use of e-cigarette products, officials say. 

The latest information was released by DHHS officials on Wednesday. They say about half of the patients are younger than 21 years old. 

The youngest patient is only 13 years old and the oldest is 44, officials say. 

A total of 11 patients are critically ill and require mechanical ventilation at this time, according to DHHS.

“The ongoing reports are highly concerning and the severity of many of these illnesses has been tragic,” said Dr. Philip Huang, DCHHS Director. “I cannot emphasize enough that e-cigarettes should not be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products—regardless of this investigation.” 

The CDC says as of Sept. 24, there are 805 confirmed and probable cases of lung illness associated with e-cigarette product use, or vaping.

Doctors say the illnesses resemble an inhalation injury, with the lungs apparently reacting to a caustic substance. So far infectious diseases have been ruled out.

Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pains, and some patients have experienced vomiting and diarrhea. 

So far, officials have not been able to link any cases to a specific vaping product or substance. 

The FDA and CDC is asking people to report suspected cases here. 

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