Illness in Clark County residents linked to vaping
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 18, 2019
LAS VEGAS – Two additional Clark County residents have been identified as having severe respiratory illness linked to e-cigarette products. The Southern Nevada Health District reports both cases are individuals ages 18 or older. Clark County’s first confirmed case was in a person under the age of 18. A pulmonary infection that would provide an alternative diagnosis has not been identified. All three were hospitalized but are now recovering from their illnesses.
One of the individuals reported using e-cigarettes with nicotine products only. Two of the individuals reported using tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products, and one also reported using cannabinoid (CBD) oils. All three individuals reported purchasing or acquiring their products from different sources, including friends, retail outlets, and through online purchases.
“While the cause of this outbreak is still unknown, there is an undeniable association with the use of e-cigarette products,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer for the Southern Nevada Health District. “My continued recommendation is for people not to use any vaping products or e-cigarettes.”
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.
There have been 380 cases of lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarette products, or vaping, reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC’s case report was revised to only include confirmed and probable cases. Previously reported numbers included possible cases still under investigation by local and state health departments. Seven deaths have been reported; the most recent occurring in California. These numbers are changing frequently. The CDC continues to report that it has not identified any specific substance or e-cigarette product that is
linked in all cases. Many but not all patients report using e-cigarette products that contain THC.
Some have reported the use of e-cigarette products containing only nicotine. Up to date information on the outbreak is available on the CDC website.
The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.