Oregon Warns Doctors To Look Out For Vape-Related Illness

Close up on a man exhaling vapor from an electronic cigarette

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that it's looking into 153 possible cases of a mysterious lung disease that seems to be associated with e-cigarette use.

They also advised those who vape or who now have lung illness or who may have had it in the past three months, to contact their doctor or local health department.

A person smokes an e-cigarette.

Illinois, where the patient died, was one of the first to report a suspicious series of severe, sudden lung illnesses among mostly young adult and teenage patients, all of whom reported using e-cigarettes. Those affected have had symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue.

The Illinois Department of Public Health issued a statement Friday saying a person who had "recently vaped and was hospitalized with severe respiratory illness" had died. In addition to respiratory symptoms, some patients experienced nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The ADPH said doctors should ask patients with respiratory or pulmonary illnesses about their use of e-cigarettes.

"We requested a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help us investigate these cases and they arrived in IL on Tuesday", Ezike said.

"However, no specific product has been identified in all cases, nor has any product been conclusively linked to illnesses", the state health department said. In some cases, symptoms worsened over a period of days or weeks and sometimes required hospitalization. They're all in their early to mid-20s and have had a history of vaping. Both the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health did, however, note that a number of patients have also reported using products containing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive substance in cannabis.

"Anyone who thinks that they may be experiencing serious breathing problems linked to vaping should seek immediate medical attention", said Dr. Acton.

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