Mon | Nov 18, 2019

Doctors suspect vaping behind dozens of lung illnesses in US

Published:Friday | August 16, 2019 | 9:06 AM
In this Monday, July 29, 2019 photo, Dylan Nelson, of Burlington, Wisconsin, and his sister, Andrea, sit for an interview. He was rushed to the hospital in June by his sister last month with severe breathing problems. Doctors believe he and about two dozen other young adults suffered serious lung injuries after vaping nicotine or THC, or both. (Rick Wood/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — As many as 50 people in at least six states have come down with breathing illnesses that may be linked to e-cigarettes or other vaping products.

No deaths have been reported, but at least a few have come close.

Some patients have likened onset of the illness to a heart attack, and others to the flu.

Symptoms have included shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain and vomiting.

Doctors say the illnesses resemble an inhalation injury, with the body apparently reacting to a caustic substance that someone breathed in.

Dr Melodi Pirzada, a paediatric lung specialist at NYU Winthrop Hospital in New York, said she’s seen two cases this summer — one of them an athletic 18-year-old who almost died.

“We’re all baffled,” Pirzada said.

The only common factor was they had been vaping, she said.

Wisconsin health officials on Thursday said they’re seen 15 confirmed cases, with another 15 illnesses under investigation.

New York state officials are investigating 10, Illinois has seen at least six, and Minnesota doctors this week said they have four more.

California and Indiana have also been looking into reported illnesses.

Health officials have only been counting certain lung illnesses in which the person had vaped within three months.

Most are teens, but some adult cases have also been reported.

No single vaping device or liquid is associated with the illnesses.

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