NEW YORK (AP) – Up to 50 people in at least six states suffer from respiratory illnesses that may be associated with e-cigarettes or other vaporous products.
No deaths were reported. but at least some have come close.
Some patients have compared the onset of the disease with a heart attack and others with the flu. Symptoms included dyspnea, fatigue, chest pain and vomiting. Doctors say the illnesses are similar to an inhalation injury, with the body apparently reacting to a corrosive substance that someone has inhaled.
Dr. Melodi Pirzada, a pediatric lung specialist at New York's NYU Winthrop Hospital, said she saw two cases this summer ̵
"We are all at a loss," said Pirzada. The only common factor was that they had evaporated, she said.
Wisconsin health officials said Thursday they had seen 15 confirmed cases, with another 15 cases being investigated. New York officials are investigating 10, Illinois has seen at least six, and Minnesota doctors have said this week to have four more. California and Indiana have also dealt with reported diseases.
Health officials counted only certain lung diseases where the person had suffered evaporation damage within three months. Most are teenagers, but there have also been cases of adults. There is not a single vapor device or fluid associated with the diseases.
Dylan Nelson, a 26-year-old Wisconsin man, went to a doctor when he first got sick. He has asthma, was diagnosed with pneumonia and treated and discharged.
Within a few days he could barely breathe. He went to a hospital and was put in a breathing tube. His two brothers kept watch over him around the clock in the days that followed, and at some point someone called his mother to the hospital and said, "Mom, I do not think he'll make it … he can not die without his mother . "
He rallied and was released from the hospital at the end of last month.
But "he still has lung and heart damage" and doctors still do not know how much they "I'm going to cure," said his mother, Kim Barnes of Burlington, Wisconsin.
Electronic cigarettes were considered a less dangerous alternative but the health authorities were worried about the children who use them, and most were concerned about nicotine, which, according to health authorities, is detrimental to brain development and increases the likelihood of children taking cigarettes.
Es however, some Vaping products have been found to contain other potentially harmful substances, including flavorings and experts say oils used to vaporize marijuana.
Wisconsin officials did not know the names of the products that had vaporized the sick However, they added that they could contain various substances, including nicotine and THC – the wi most active active ingredient in marijuana.
] DR. Anne Griffiths, a lung specialist who examined all four reported cases in Minnesota, said that each had various products evaporated.
"I really think the main cause of these diseases is what was inhaled," said Griffiths of Children's Minnesota.
Among the many questions, why are cases only beginning to emerge when e-cigarettes have existed for years and are now being used by more than 10 million Americans?
It is possible that diseases have not been recognized as related to vaping, Griffiths said. She said she found several similar case reports published in medical journals.
"In my opinion, this is not new, it's new that we recognize it," she said.
Nelson's mother is convinced that the blame lies on vaping.
She said her son's friends continued to evaporate, even after seeing what happened to him because they did not vaporize the brand of THC-containing cartridges he used.
"Everyone vaporizes, they're all vaping, and they all think it's safe," Barnes said.
AP reporter Steve Karnowski of Minneapolis contributed to this report.
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