Dozens of US teens hospitalised with lung disease after vaping

Dozens of US teens hospitalised with lung disease after vaping

Friday, August 16, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!

WASHINGTON,United States(AFP) — US health officials are investigating the cases of dozens of people, mainly teens, who were hospitalised with severe lung injuries in recent weeks aftervaping, though the precise cause of their illnesses remains a mystery.

Health departments in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin have issued statements describing cases involving patients who exhibited coughs, shortness of breath, dizziness and fatigue, symptoms that led them to hospitals where they had to be incubated.

Officials in the three states, which have reported at least 30 confirmed cases and 22 under investigation, said it was too early to say whether the illnesses were connected, but were working with each other and the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention to investigate further.

Some of them involved "dabbing," orvapingmarijuana products. US media reported several other states were also reporting cases.

Thomas Haupt, a respiratory disease epidemiologist with Wisconsin's Department of Health Services, told AFP on Thursday: "We're in the process of interviewing all of our patients, to try to find out any commonalities.

"At this particular point,vapingis the only thing that they have in common, but we're trying to cast a broader net and just make sure that we are not missing something as well."

The findings have baffled experts, since e-cigarettes have been available in the US since 2006 and scientific research so far suggests they are probably a less toxic alternative to smoking.

Their use among adolescents has skyrocketed in recent years: some 3.6 million middle and high school students usedvapingproducts in 2018, an increase of 1.5 million on the year before, according to the report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Haupt told AFP that the Wisconsin cases weren't confined to teens — the confirmed cases included users into their mid-thirties while the suspected cases included people in their fifties.

Many had to receive mechanical assistance in breathing, while imaging had revealed infiltrates, and "ground glass opacities" that indicate abnormalities in the alveoli.

But they responded well to steroid treatment and were later discharged, and will receive follow-up scans a few weeks from now to determine whether there has been any permanent damage.

"This is an eye-opening investigation for us," he said, adding that the patients had no underlying illnesses that would put them at risk for complications.

"We always encourage parents to talk to their children about this. If they do vape, it has to come from a reputable dealer," he added.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon