Published: Sun, August 18, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Dozens of US teens hospitalized with lung disease after vaping

Dozens of US teens hospitalized with lung disease after vaping

The Minnesota Health Department issues a warning against the potential dangers of vaping after four teenagers were hospitalized for lung disease in the state.

In Wisconsin, health officials are still investigating increasing reports of people with severe lung disease who say they've recently vaped or "dabbed", which involves inhaling marijuana products. The hospital also said it is "too early to say whether they are connected". "We are encouraging providers and parents to be on the look-out for vaping as a cause for unexplained breathing problems and lung injury and disease".

"These cases are extremely complex to diagnose, as symptoms can mimic a common infection yet can lead to severe complications and extended hospitalization", Dr. Emily Chapman, chief medical officer at Children's Minnesota, added.

The patients spent several weeks in the hospital and some were admitted to the intensive care unit for symptoms including shortness of breath, fever, cough, vomiting and diarrhea.

A variety of substances in e-liquids could pose risks, according to health experts, but little is known about the short- and long-term health risks posed by e-cigarettes. It is unclear whether that plays a role across these cases.

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IL health officials are working with local health departments, other states, and federal agencies to determine which vaping products were used by patients and where they were obtained, CNN reported.

The findings have baffled experts, since e-cigarettes have been available in the U.S. since 2006 and scientific research so far suggests they are probably a less toxic alternative to smoking.

"The more educated people are on topics the better choices they make and that's the bigger step we need to take is making sure teens are educated on this", Jacob Janousek from Mora, said.

On August 9, five days after Wisconsin made its announcement, the Illinois Department of Health issued a statement saying that six "young people" in the state had been hospitalized due to severe breathing issues experienced after using "vaping" products. The patients in Wisconsin include older individuals in addition to teens, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported.

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