Public health officials have confirmed two cases of serious respiratory disease in Idaho among people who use electronic cigarettes or other vaping devices. Nationwide there have been 450 possible cases of severe pulmonary disease among e-cigarette or vape users in 33 states and one U.S. territory, according to a press release from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare today.
“Idaho health care providers are notifying us of patients with severe respiratory symptoms who report vaping in the days or weeks before they became very sick,” said Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. Kathryn Turner in the press release.
The two patients reported in Idaho are recovering from their symptoms, and the department continues to investigate and look for commonalities in the cases as well as ask what types of vaping products and devices people have been using and try to pinpoint the source of illnesses.
Symptoms reported include cough, shortness of breath and chest pain, as well as fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The reports received in Idaho are among teenagers and young adults, the press release states.
“Vaping can be very addictive and lead to severe dependence issues,” South Central Public Health District Health Educator Cody Orchard said. “In our region, we have teenagers who wake up in the middle of the night craving nicotine, struggle in class and even repeat grades because they can’t focus without their vape.”