Vaping linked to severe respiratory attacks |

Vaping linked to severe respiratory attacks

Staff Reports
Alpine County Health Department

Alpine County’s Public Health Officer is warning residents that 20 cases of severe respiratory issues have been reported in California associated with vaping.

Dr. Richard O. Johnson said that since June cases have been reported in nine counties across the state.

He said that 15 states are reporting 100 cases under investigation.

“Initial cases were among youth; however the ages among the California cases range from 15-61, with half being below 27 years old,” Johnson said. “Individuals presented to hospitals with progressive shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, fatigue and weight loss developing over a period of days or weeks prior to admission.”

No infections have been found, and the severity of the attacks has been varied, with many needing intensive care and a ventilator to survive. Johnson said patients improved with treatment, it isn’t known whether there will be long-term health effects.

All the victims reported vaping in the weeks prior to hospitalization and a common exposure is that they have been vaping cannabis or CBD oils.

He said that THC containing products are common to all, no specific product has been identified by all cases, nor has any product been conclusively linked to the attacks.

Among information in the patients history are the use of commercially available devices or liquids.

Sharing of e-cigarette products with other people

Reusing old cartridges or pods

Or heating the drug to concentrate it and using a specific device to inhale, also known as dabbing.

Johnson urged anyone who experiences chest pain or difficulty breathing after vaping to see immediate medical attention.