What Texas Needs To Know About Vaping Illnesses
There are at least 450 seriously ill people right now in 33 states, including Texas, and they all developed the lung issues after vaping. These illnesses are landing people in the hospital, and five people have died. Here's what we need to know.
Many of the patients that doctors are treating now are young healthy men, with a median age of 19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC released a report Friday that said there's no evidence of infectious disease in these cases, and the lung illnesses are likely associated with "chemical exposure" after using e-cigarettes. The CDC report also said, "The investigation has not identified any specific substance or e-cigarette product that is linked to all cases. Many patients report using e-cigarette products with liquids that contain cannabinoid products, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)."
The CDC admits it's still trying to understand the situation, and it's continuing to hone in on the root cause of what's making people so sick.
The patients involved are fighting through serious lung problems that sound similar to pneumonia, with chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, nausea, fatigue, fever, and weight loss. Some patients end up in the hospital for respiratory treatment, and five people have died so far, with the fifth one just last week. The deaths were in California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Oregon.
The Washington Post said, "All used e-cigarettes or related products within 90 days of getting sick; a significant number reported vaping in the week before falling ill."
So what do we do with all of this? Obviously, if you've used e-cigarettes recently or you know your kids have, watch for symptoms. If they start to pop up, get to the doctor right away. And the CDC recommends that you don't use e-cigarettes at all, but if you do, don't buy them off the street, and avoid the ones with THC or other cannabinoids.
Some lawmakers are coming down hard on the Food and Drug Administration, asking them to install tougher regulations on e-cigarette sales, so this could be a battle that's just beginning. Stay tuned.