TROY — The Centers for Disease Control and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) continue to investigate the growing outbreak of individuals with severe pulmonary illness following vaping use. ODH has notified Miami County Public Health of the first case of an illness linked to vaping in Miami County.
As of Oct. 15, state and local public health officials in Ohio have confirmed 32 cases around the state including the one case here in Miami County, according to a release from Miami County Public Health Commissioner Dennis Propes.
No deaths have been reported in Ohio, but 29 cases were severe enough to be hospitalized, the release says. The age range for Ohio cases have been 15-65 years with a median age of 21 years, which correlates to the tremendous increase in vaping among our youth, Propes said. The vaping rate among high school-age youths in the U.S. increased by 78 percent in one year, according to the release.
According to the CDC, patient symptoms include respiratory symptoms such as a cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain; and gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Anyone who thinks they may be experiencing serious breathing problems linked to vaping should see immediate medical attention.
The CDC recommends while the investigation is ongoing, consider refraining from using e-cigarette products if you are concerned about health risks. Do not buy vaping products off the street — you do not know what they really contain that could be harmful to your health, the release said. Vaping products bought on the street may contain THC or other cannabinoids. Regardless of the investigation, e-cigarette products should not be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products, according to the release.
Residents who need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping, should contact their doctor or call the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line at (800) QUIT-NOW for free help and nicotine replacement therapy.