Vaping-linked death probed in Oregon, symptoms similar to more than 200 cases

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Oregon health officials are investigating the death of a resident who suffered “severe respiratory illness” after they used an e-cigarette device.

The person, who was not identified, passed away in July, according to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). He or she used a vape that contained marijuana prior to falling ill, according to reports received OHA Public Health Division. The vaping device was purchased at a dispensary, officials said in a news release.

“The individual’s symptoms were consistent with those of more than 200 similar cases in a national cluster of respiratory illness, mostly affecting teenagers and young adults, in at least 25 states,” the OHA said.

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Both the CDC and the FDA are investigating what may be behind the illnesses, though a specific product has not yet been identified. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Both the CDC and the FDA are investigating what may be behind the illnesses, though a specific product has not yet been identified. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Symptoms in nearly all the cases have included shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, and weight loss.

“We don’t yet know the exact cause of these illnesses — whether they’re caused by contaminants, ingredients in the liquid or something else, such as the device itself,” Ann Thomas, a public health physician at OHA’s Public Health Division, said in a statement.

The news comes after a patient who developed serious lung disease after vaping died in Illinois last month, marking what officials said at the time was the first vaping-related death in the U.S.

“At this time, the specific substances within the e-cigarette products that cause illness are not known”

— The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday there were 215 potential cases of respiratory illnesses linked to vaping across 25 states. Teens primarily have been affected.

Both the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating what may be behind the illnesses, though a specific product has not yet been identified. An unnamed source reportedly told The Washington Post last week both state and federal health officials are looking at “contaminants or counterfeit substances,” specifically in THC-containing vaping products, as a possible source.

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The news comes after a patient who developed serious lung disease after vaping died in Illinois, marking what officials said at the time was the first vaping-related death in the U.S. 

The news comes after a patient who developed serious lung disease after vaping died in Illinois, marking what officials said at the time was the first vaping-related death in the U.S. 
(iStock)

“More information is needed to better understand whether there’s a relationship between any specific products or substances and the reported illnesses,” the CDC told Fox News in a statement. “At this time, there does not appear to be one product involved in all of the cases, although THC and cannabinoids use has been reported in many cases. At this time, the specific substances within the e-cigarette products that cause illness are not known and could involve a variety of substances.”

“We continue to gather information about the names of the products used, where they were purchased, and how the products were used. That information is critical to help determine whether patterns emerge on which we can take additional action.”

Separately, Michigan on Wednesday became the first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes in an effort to deter young people, specifically, from using the devices.



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