Del. health officials investigating possible connection between vaping, illness

Tim Jimenez
September 10, 2019 - 8:15 am
In this April 11, 2018 file photo, a high school student uses a vaping device near a school campus in Cambridge, Mass.

Steven Senne/AP Photo, File

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — As the American Medical Association is urging people to put their e-cigarettes down, the Delaware Division of Public Health is investigating three cases of lung illnesses they believe may be connected to vaping.

Health officials have not confirmed that the illnesses are directly caused by vaping, but they're concerned because of alarming data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC says there are 450 possible cases of vaping-related lung illnesses and five deaths in 33 states. 

Officials say they don't believe this is something caused by a virus going around but rather from exposure to a chemical. There isn't a specific substance or product that links all the people who have gotten sick, and it is unclear where in the state they live, but all these cases are being investigated. 

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There are similar symptoms in many of the cases that are being invsetigated around the country, including shortness of breath, chest pain and couging; sometimes stomach problems like nausea or vomitting; and in come cases there's fever, fatigue or weight loss. These symtoms, officials say, can develop anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. 

Delaware health officials are discouraging people from vaping, but the reality is that's not stopping a lot of people. So, officials say those who do vape should go to the doctor of they develop symptoms. And to not alter what's in the e-cigarettes or buy any of the products off the street.