Massachusetts health officials have reported five new cases of vaping-related illnesses to federal investigators over the last week, bringing the total number of cases officially reported in the state to 73.
The majority of the cases in Massachusetts continue to involve vaporizers with THC, the psychoactive compound of marijuana. Of the 73 patients reported to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40 percent of them used THC products only and an additional 25 percent used a combination of nicotine and THC products, according to the state Department of Public Health’s weekly update, which was released Wednesday.
About a third of patients — 29 percent — reported using nicotine products only, and a handful of other patients used products with CBD, a nonpsychoactive compound that can be extracted from marijuana or hemp.
Thirty-six of the 73 cases occurred in people under the age of 30. Another 20 cases were in patients ages 30 through 49, and 17 cases were in patients who are 50 or older.
Most patients with the illnesses, 59, have been hospitalized.
More than 2,000 people have been diagnosed with the vaping illnesses nationwide, and at least 40 people have died, including three in Massachusetts. Though federal health officials said last week that they believe vitamin E acetate is probably one cause of the illnesses, they said it’s probably not the only one.
The investigation into the cause of the illnesses — and how to treat them — remains ongoing.