11 respiratory illness cases linked to vaping reported in Ohio

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – The Centers for Disease Control is now investigating more than 200 cases of respiratory illness linked to vaping, and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) confirmed 11 of them are from Ohio.

Dr. Mark Hurst, the Medical Director for ODH, said the link to vaping is very clear, because nationally, 100 percent of the respiratory illness cases have been linked to vaping.

What they are investigating now is the why.

The CDC has confirmed these cases in 25 states including Ohio.

Hurst said since this illness is only affecting a small number of Ohioans who vape, there has to be something different with these individuals who experience the respiratory illness.

“A variety of things are being looked at including whether the vaping device has been altered or not, and some of the vaping liquids that have been involved,” said Hurst. “Many of the cases involve vaping of THC products but not all of them.”

Hurst said they are also investigating whether there is something similar within the individuals or in the particular delivery form.

“The CDC has recommended not using any devices that are altered,” said Hurst. “It is also recommended not using any black market kinds of oils or anything else that is not regulated.”

Hurst said they are continuing to work with local health departments to report any more cases of respiratory illness where vaping may be a factor, and added the symptoms in each case are fairly consistent and do get progressively worse.

“There is normally a cough, shortness of breath or chest pain,” said Hurst. “Some have been associated with some gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and a number of them have also been associated with fatigue, fever.”

Hurst added the age groups of reported cases are diverse, some teenagers while others are in their 50s.

He said there are more reported cases in younger people, but that could be just because there are more younger people who vape, not necessarily that they’re more vulnerable.

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