Vaping-associated respiratory disease confirmed in state

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Idaho public health officials have confirmed two cases of serious respiratory disease among people who use electronic cigarettes or other vaping devices.

Public health officials did not identify the cities or geographic region where the patients reside.

State and local public health agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating severe pulmonary disease among people who use e-cigarettes or vape, with 450 possible cases reported to date in 33 states and 1 U.S. territory. Five deaths have been reported from other states.

The two Idaho patients are recovering.

Consumers who use vaping products and e-cigarettes are urged to avoid buying products from the street and to refrain from modifying or adding any substances to products purchased in stores. Individuals who have recently used vaping products such as e-cigarettes and are having difficulty breathing should seek medical attention immediately.

Clinicians have been asked to be on alert for signs of serious respiratory illness among patients who recently used vaping products, including e-cigarettes, and report any cases to public health officials as the nationwide investigation continues.

“Idaho healthcare providers are notifying us of patients with severe respiratory symptoms who report vaping in the days or weeks before they became very sick,” said deputy state epidemiologist Dr. Kathryn Turner. “We are investigating each report and looking for things that might be common among the patients as well as asking about the types of vaping products and devices people have used to try and pinpoint the source of these illnesses.”

Patients have had symptoms that include cough, shortness of breath and/or chest pain that has grown worse over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital. Other symptoms may include fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea. The reports received from Idaho providers are among teenagers and young adults.

It is very important for teens and parents to understand more about vaping, officials said in the press release.

If you or someone you know is ready to quit using nicotine-containing products, including tobacco and vaping products such as e-cigarettes, free help is available from the following resources:

• 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669).

• projectfilter.org

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