|More Than 20 Suspected Lung Disease Cases Linked to Vaping Reported in Texas
AUSTIN September 9, 2019 - "Many patients have required supplemental oxygen. Some have required assisted ventilation and oxygenation, and some were intubated," Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) said Thursday. "On imaging, chest radiographs have demonstrated bilateral opacification, and CT imaging has demonstrated diffuse ground-glass opacification."
Six cases are consistent with symptoms and substance use in other states, officials with the said in a news update Wednesday. The rest are under investigation.
Symptoms have included cough, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that have worsened over time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in an alert.
As of late August, 215 potential cases of severe lung illness associated with e-cigarette product use had been reported in 25 states, including Texas, CDC said. Three deaths have been reported nationwide, officials have said.
DSHS was first notified of possible cases early last month.
“DSHS is working with local health departments, other states, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to better characterize case demographics, clinical characteristics, and exposures,” the update said.
The CDC has several recommendations for physicians who suspect severe lung disease caused caused by e-cigarettes, including:
Suspected cases should be reported to DSHS at (512) 776-7268.
Thanks to Texas Medical Association advocacy, lawmakers this year passed a law that raises the minimum age to buy tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21 (except for military personnel). The law took effect Sept. 1.
If you’re looking for ways to talk effectively to teenagers about the dangers of vaping, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission is offering a free online course entitled Escape the Vape: Help Stop the E-Cigarette Epidemic Among Adolescents.