The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Public Health confirms the first lung illness associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping, in Cabarrus County.
Cabarrus Health Alliance is actively participating in the multistate investigation led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which to date reports 1,479 lung injury cases associated with the use of e-cigarette products from 49 states, the District of Columbia, and one U.S. territory. Thirty-three deaths have been confirmed in 24 states.
As of Oct. 17, NC DHHS reports 54 cases of lung illness associated with the use of vaping products. No deaths in North Carolina have been reported.
According to the CDC, national and state data suggest that products containing THC, particularly those obtained on the street or from other informal sources (e.g., friends, family members or illicit dealers) are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak. The only way to assure that people are not at risk while the investigation continues is to refrain from use of all e-cigarette products.
Some patients have reported their symptoms developed over a few days, while others have reported that their symptoms developed over several weeks.
If you do use e-cigarette products, seek medical care promptly if you experience any of the following symptoms:
Cough, shortness of breath or chest pain.
Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
Fatigue, fever or weight loss.
For those wanting to learn more about the risks and harms associated with e-cigarette use, the Cabarrus Health Alliance will host a free educational seminar.
Vaping 101Thursday, Nov. 14, at 6:30 p.m.
Cabarrus Health Alliance, 300 Mooresville Road, Kannapolis, NC 28081.
NC DHHS’ Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch provides updated case counts on its website every Thursday at 4 p.m. at www.tobaccoprevantionandcontrol.ncdhhs.gov/ecigs.