BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Five people in Maryland have developed severe lung disease over the last two months after consuming e-cigarettes and vaping.
The Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland Poison Center at The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy identified the patients and reported that the breathing difficulties reported by the patients included respiratory distress, respiratory or coughing pain.
They also reported fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The cases had no clear infectious cause and all patients had to be hospitalized.
None of the cases was fatal, the Ministry of Health added.
These cases are part of nearly 200 reported cases of vaping In 22 states, there were at least one deaths.
"The Maryland Department of Health is taking this issue seriously and is working with local health departments, disease control and prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration to find out all those who may experience similar symptoms," said Frances B. Phillips, MDD Minister of Health.
The official cause of these diseases is not yet known and has not been linked to a specific product, substance or brand. [1
"This is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease." said Bruce Anderson, managing director of the Maryland Poison Center. "If you have been using e-cigarettes in the past few weeks or months and have trouble breathing, stop using these products and seek medical attention immediately."
MDH added that many evaporated products contain substances that may be toxic by inhalation and may not be indicated on the product packaging.
"We do not know much about the content of these products. The best way to protect yourself is not to use e-cigarettes or e-vapes, "said Dawn Berkowitz, director of the MDH Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control. "We know it's hard to stop, but resources are available to help. Trained professionals are available around the clock so you can stop steaming or smoking. "
MDH called on medical service providers who care for patients with unexplained severe respiratory disease to inquire about the history of e-cigarette use or vaporization and report suspected cases. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is also investigating about 200 possible cases of severe lung damage that may be associated with e-cigarettes. In an interview with CBS News, the CEO of Juul – The country's most popular e-cigarette brand states that there is not enough evidence to get the products out of the shops.
"If there were any indications that our product is harmful to health, we would probably do so. Take action very quickly," said Juul CEO Kevin Burns.
One woman told WJZ that she had already tried it casually.
"I only tried twice," said Monique Williams of Baltimore. "I think they may have to stop allowing people to buy it when things get so serious."
The health department is not interviewing all five patients to see exactly which vaping product they used and how often they used it.