OLYMPIA, Wash. – Two new cases of severe vaping-related lung disease have been confirmed in Washington state, health officials said Monday.
The two new cases, both in Spokane County, are a teenager and a patient in his or her 20s, according to the officials with the state Department of Health.
“The symptoms of these patients match what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have asked all state and local health jurisdictions to be on the lookout for in regards to the nationwide investigation into this matter,” said state Health Officer Kathy Lofy. “This is now a statewide outbreak.”
The two new patients bring the total number of severe vaping illness cases in Washington to three. The first case involved a King County teenager who was hospitalized in August for fever, cough and shortness of breath.
All three confirmed cases reported vaping prior to illness but so far investigators have not identified a product, device or additive that is common to all three cases. Investigations into the specifics of products, device and additives are ongoing.
Nationwide, more than 450 people have been diagnosed with severe vaping-related lung illness, and at least six of them have died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Serious lung illness has been reported in people who use a variety of e-cigarette and vape devices and products, including THC- and CBD-containing products as well as nicotine-containing products. The cause or causes of this outbreak remain unknown at this time.
Local public health officials say anyone who uses e-cigarette products should not buy them off the street and should not use these products while the investigation is ongoing.
E-cigarette users should immediately seek medical attention of they experience symptoms of coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea or fatigue.
Public health officials said that one and four high school seniors in King County reported using e-cigarettes in the last 90 days.
“People should all know and understand that e-cigs and vaping are not safe,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for Public Health Seattle & King County. “Everyone could be at risk for serve lung disease and should avoid e-cigs and vaping at this time until the cause of the outbreak is known.”