U.S. vaping-related deaths rise to 34, cases of illness to 1,604

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

(Reuters) - U.S. health officials on Thursday reported 1,604 confirmed and probable cases and one new death from a mysterious respiratory illness tied to vaping, taking the total toll to 34.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 1,479 cases and 33 deaths from the illness and announced plans to start testing aerosols from vaping products as part of its investigation.

The deaths have occurred in 24 states, as of Oct. 22, among people whose ages ranged from 17 to 75 years.

Investigators have not linked the cases to any specific product or compound, but have pointed to vaping oils containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, as being especially risky.

The agency has said there may be multiple reasons behind the outbreak and that the cause of the illness may not be the same across the country.

Reporting by Manas Mishra and Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber