State and local public health officials in Ohio have confirmed that four reports of severe pulmonary illness after vaping are likely due to vaping.
Health agencies are also investigating an additional 11 reports of illness.
As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued updated recommendations on vaping for the public.
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) issued a health alert to healthcare providers on Aug. 23 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.
ODH has confirmed three cases, ranging in age from 18 to 26 years old, including two females and one male and all requiring hospitalization.
These confirmed cases reside in Lucas, Richland and Union counties.
However, Jennifer Thrush, Public Information Officer for the Union County Health Department (UCHD) said a second case in Union County was confirmed on Wednesday, bringing the total to four.
She declined to release the gender of the second individual, per UCHD policy, but said the person is under the age of 18.
The four cases of severe pulmonary illness in Ohio are part of more than 200 possible cases throughout 25 states that are being investigated by public health officials.
Investigations continue into Ohio’s additional reports of illness and no further information about them is available at this time.
In light of the growing number of cases the CDC’s updated recommendations on vaping for the public include:
– While the investigation in ongoing, people should consider refraining from using e-cigarette or vaping products if they are concerned about the health risks.
– Regardless of the investigation, e-cigarette and vaping products should not be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.
– Do not buy vaping products off the street – you do not know what they really contain that could be harmful to your health. Vaping products bought on the street may contain THC or cannabinoids.
– Do not modify e-cigarette or vaping products or add any substances to them not intended by the manufacturer.
– If you use e-cigarette products, monitor yourself for symptoms and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health.
UCHD is also encouraging parents to talk with their children about the dangers associated with vaping.
If you need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, contact your doctor or go to the ODH website for more information about resources, including the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line (1-800-QUIT-NOW).
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