E-cigarettes and vaping linked to severe respiratory illness

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In this Tuesday, April 10, 2018 photo, Marshfield High School Principal Robert Keuther displays vaping devices that were confiscated from students in such places as restrooms or hallways at the school in Marshfield, Mass. Officials on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 said the Food and Drug Administration has joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a number of states in the investigation. of breathing illnesses among people who vape. Health officials are now looking into more than 150 possible cases in 16 states. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

LANSING, Mich. (WJMN) – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is currently investigating reports of e-cigarette/vaping-associated respiratory illnesses. As of August 27, 2019, MDHHS is reviewing six cases; all diagnosed in the last 60 days.

E-cigarette and/or vaping users should immediately seek medical attention if they develop symptoms such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting

Symptoms may occur long after the use of a device.

“The severity of illness people are experiencing is alarming and we want Michiganders to be aware using e-cigarettes and vaping can be dangerous,” said Sarah Lyon-Callo, MDHHS state epidemiologist. “E-cigarettes/vaping products can contain harmful chemicals that can result in damage to a user’s lungs, heart or other body systems.”

So far, all cases that have been reported are in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Most of the individuals have been hospitalized for severe respiratory illness. Cases range in age from 19 to 29 years old.

203 possible cases of severe respiratory disease associated with e-cigarrete use have been reported in 23 states, as of August 23, 2019.

The Michigan investigation has not identified a specific brand of device or e-liquid that is causing these illnesses, so far. Similar to reports across the nation, there does not appear to be an infectious cause of the illnesses.

MDHHS is working closely with state and federal partners during this national outbreak investigation. Physicians caring for patients with pulmonary illnesses that have a history of e-cigarette and/or vaping use should immediately report these cases to their local health department.

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