The Brazos County Health Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services are investigating three cases of severe pulmonary disease linked to the use of e-cigarettes. 

The Associated Press reported on September 19 that U.S. officials said more than 500 people have been diagnosed with pulmonary issues related to e-cigarette use and eight people have died. 

According to the CDC, all patients reported using e-cigarette products and many have reported using e-cigarette products containing cannabinoid products such as THC or CBD, the federal agency said. Brazos County health officials said that there has not been a confirmed linked to cannabinoid use in local cases but that remains under investigation. 

The Brazos County Health Department said that as of September 24, 38 cases of the severe pulmonary disease have been confirmed in Texas with 12 cases being investigated in the Texas Department of State Health Services Public Health Region 7, which encompasses 30 counties including Brazos County. Four of the 12 cases in Region 7 have been confirmed to be associated with the use of e-cigarettes, the Brazos County Health Department said, and three of the four confirmed cases are in Brazos County. 

According to the Center for Disease Control, patients reported experiencing a variety of respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea and chest pain. 

The CDC announced in August that officials are working with health departments across the nation to determine the cause of the condition, according to an Aug. 19 report by the Washington Post.

By Sept. 11, the federal government announced a plan to ban flavors used in e-cigarettes, with lawmakers across the country discussing statewide bans and businesses, such as Walmart, announcing plans to pull products from shelves. 

The Brazos Co. Health Department recommends refraining from using e-cigarette products for those concerned about these health risks. 

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