Two cases of serious respiratory disease have been confirmed among Idahoans who use electronic cigarettes or other vaping devices.
There have been five deaths and possibly 450 cases in 33 states nationwide that have reported the severe pulmonary disease among people who use e-cigarettes or vape, according to a press release from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. The department announced Tuesday it has confirmed its first two cases of the disease.
The two Idaho patients are recovering, according to the press release from IDHW. The reports received from Idaho medical providers are among teenagers and young adults.
Idaho public health officials join others states including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration in investigating the pulmonary disease.
“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.”
Consumers who use vaping products are urged to avoid buying products from the street and refrain from modifying or adding any substances to products purchased in stores.
Patients have had symptoms that include cough, shortness of breath 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 diarrhea.
Those who use vape products and are having difficulty breathing should seek medical attention immediately.
There is extra concern for teenagers and young adults who use vaping products, the release states. Most vaping products contain nicotine which can impact the learning, memory and attention of adolescents. Vaping can also expose users to other harmful substances like heavy metals, volatile organic compounds and ultrafine particles.