ALEXANDER COUNTY, NC (September 23, 2019) — The Alexander County Health Department is participating in the multistate investigation of severe lung illness associated with e-cigarette use, also known as vaping.
As of September 11th, 380 cases of lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarette products have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 36 states and one U.S. territory, including six deaths. In North Carolina, 28 cases had been reported to the Division of Public Health, but fortunately, no deaths have been reported.
The North Carolina investigation can be tracked by visiting the “News/Highlights” box at www.tobaccopreventionandcontrol.ncdhhs.gov/ecigs.
Patients in the state investigation have reported symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain; nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; and fatigue, fever, or weight loss. Some patients have reported that their symptoms developed over a few days, while others have reported that their symptoms developed over several weeks. Most of these cases involve people who have been hospitalized and have required respiratory support.
While this investigation is ongoing, consider not using e-cigarette products. If you do use e-cigarette products and you experience symptoms like those reported in this outbreak, seek medical care promptly.
Regardless of the ongoing investigation, the Alexander County Health Department and state and federal public health partners are reminding residents of the following recommendations:
• Youth and young adults should not use e-cigarette products.
• Women who are pregnant should not use e-cigarette products.
• Adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using e-cigarette products.
• If you do use e-cigarette products, you should not buy these products off the street (for example, e-cigarette products with THC or other cannabinoids).
• You should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved medications. If you need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, contact your doctor or call the North Carolina Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit www.quitlinenc.com.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will continue to alert the public throughout this investigation.
For more information, stop by the Alexander County Health Department at 338 1st Avenue SW in Taylorsville, visit www.alexanderhealth.org, or call (828) 632-9704.