First case of severe lung illness related to vaping confirmed in Colorado, 3 more suspected

DENVER — The first case of a sudden, severe lung illness related to vaping has been confirmed in Colorado, state officials said Thursday.

Colorado has one confirmed case and three suspected cases of sudden and severe lung illness tied to vaping.

CDPHE did not say where the cases are located or the ages of the people who are sick.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 153 possible cases of the disease in 16 states. However, there is currently no name for the illness.

Many of the affected people have been hospitalized.

“All reported vaping liquids or oils that contained either nicotine, marijuana, CBD, synthetic marijuana, or a combination of these,” CDPHE said in a press release.

Dr. Tista Ghosh, chief medical officer at CDPHE, said people who vape and the doctors who treat them should be on high alert.

“Since the department has been actively notifying providers and hospitals of the symptoms, we expect we may get more reported cases,” Gosh said via the press release.

Colorado has one of the highest rates of teen vaping in the nation.

CDPHE says people who vape should be aware of the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Possible fever

“People who vape and currently have a lung illness or may have had one in the past three months should contact their doctor or local health department,” CDPHE said.

The agency added that vaping products are not harmless.

“The agents causing this illness could possibly be pesticide contamination, residual solvent contamination, additives with unknown inhalation effects, or heavy metals contamination inhaled from vaping products,” it said.

CDPHE advised health care providers to screen all youth, parents and caregivers for vape use and exposure. It also said children and teens should be counseled on the negative health effects of vaping.

Those looking for resources to quit can visit the Colorado Quit Line.

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