Virginia is adding at least three cases of lung illnesses linked to the use of electronic cigarettes to the nearly 200 cases across 22 states that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last Friday.
The Virginia Department of Health said in a news release that it is investigating additional potential cases. The patients in the confirmed cases reported vaping in the weeks to months before the illness. Vaping is the inhalation of vapor from an e-cigarette or other vaping device.
Symptoms of vaping-associated respiratory illness include gradual onset of cough, shortness of breath or fatigue, which could worsen over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital. Some patients reported mild to moderate gastrointestinal symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea.
The Virginia Department of Health said that anyone who experiences these symptoms and has a history of e-cigarette use should go to the doctor.
The state’s department of health said that the cause of the illness is not clear at this time, and it is conducting a state-specific epidemiological investigation.
The CDC reported 193 cases of vaping-related respiratory illness between June 28 to Aug. 20. in states that include California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. And the number could increase, as other cases are verified. The cases are primarily among adolescents and young adults.
Like Virginia, the cause of the illness has not yet been identified, but patients reported using e-cigarettes weeks or months before.