Ohio investigating six pulmonary illness cases linked to vaping

Local News

MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WDTN) – State health officials are investigating six Ohioans who experienced pulmonary illness following use of e-cigarettes or vape devices.

In a release, Ohio Department of Health Director, Dr. Amy Acton, said the number of teens vaping is already a public health crisis.

“There is a perception that vaping is safe, and these reports of serious
pulmonary illness linked to e-cigarette or vaping product use show that this is simply not true,” said Acton.

The reports follow a recent national alert to healthcare providers by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about pulmonary illnesses linked to vaping in at least 16 states, primarily among adolescents and young adults.

The investigations into Ohio’s six possible cases are just beginning, according to the release, and the ODH has issued a health alert to healthcare providers asking them to report all suspected cases of serious pulmonary illness where the cause is unclear with a history of vaping to local or state public health officials for investigation.

“They’re trying to determine if it was associated with another respiratory illness or if it was because of the vaping itself,” said Dr. Carrie Baker, an emergency room physician at Kettering Medical Center.

Baker said not much research has been done on vaping devices, but given these developments, that should change.

“The smaller particles can go deeper into the lungs, and there are chemicals in there that are aerosolized that could be effecting the lungs,” said Baker. “But there just haven’t been as many studies about that.”

Not only are the six cases of pulmonary illness in Ohio being investigated, more than 100 cases in 15 other states are as well, along with one death in Illinois that is being considered the first death in the U.S. Linked to vaping.

Baker said if you vape and you have shortness of breath, fever, chills, feel lightheaded like you’re going to pass out, or if you have any chest pain, you should seek immediate medical attention.

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