Fourth vaping-related illness confirmed in Clark County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

15 October, 2019

LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District has confirmed a fourth case of severe respiratory illness linked to e-cigarettes in a Clark County resident. The individual is over the age of 18. The Health District previously reported cases in an individual under the age of 18 and two over the age of 18. The first case confirmed in Clark County was reported in September 2019. Up to date information on the outbreak is available on the CDC website.

Among Clark County’s reported cases, one of the individuals reported using e-cigarettes with nicotine products only. Three of the individuals reported using tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products, and two of the four also reported using cannabinoid (CBD) oils. All of the individuals reported purchasing or acquiring their products from different sources, including friends, retail outlets, and through online purchases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to report that it has not identified any specific substance or e-cigarette product that is linked in all cases. The CDC reports that THC-containing products obtained from informal sources are linked to most of the cases but the use of nicotine-containing products’ role in the outbreak cannot be excluded. Some patients report the use of nicotine products only, and many patients report the use of THC products and nicotine products. The Health District submitted product samples from two of the four individuals to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and analysis results are pending. In addition, product samples have been collected from the most current case. Samples will be submitted to the CDC once the Health District receives further guidance regarding submission procedures.

“This outbreak is an ongoing concern, and the Health District continues to recommend that people refrain from using any e-cigarette or vaping products,” said Dr. Fermin Leguen, Acting Chief Health Officer for the Southern Nevada Health District.

The Health District further recommends these products never be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, and people who do not currently use tobacco products. People who currently use tobacco products who wish to quit smoking should use FDA-approved therapies. Symptoms associated with the reported illnesses include:

  • Respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain)
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea)
  • Non-specific symptoms (fatigue, fever, or weight loss)

People who use e-cigarettes and experience any of these symptoms are advised to seek medical care right away. People seeking help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, can contact the Nevada Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-Quit-Now or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) from a Nevada area code.

Anyone who used e-cigarettes or vaping products in the last 90 days and developed a severe respiratory illness that is not associated with other viral infections such as influenza or bacterial infections, is encouraged to contact their health care provider to report the illness to the Southern Nevada Health District’s Office of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance, (702) 759-1300.

There have been 1,299 confirmed or probable cases of lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarette products, or vaping, reported by the CDC. Cases have been reported from 49 states, the District of Columbia and one United States territory. Previously reported numbers included possible cases still under investigation by local and state health departments. Twenty-six deaths have been reported in 21 states. These numbers are changing frequently.

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Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, YouTube: www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict, Twitter: www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo, and Instagram: www.instagram.com/southernnevadahealthdistrict/. The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TuSNHD.  Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website: www.HealthySouthernNevada.org.