The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting Clark County’s first confirmed case of severe respiratory illness linked to e-cigarette products in a person under the age of 18. The youth was hospitalized with respiratory symptoms that met the case definition established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A pulmonary infection has not been identified. The patient was released from the hospital and is recovering.
“Identifying a case in a young person who used vaping products that should not have been available to them is an unfortunate reminder of how pervasive these items have become and the danger they pose to our children and the public,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer for the Southern Nevada Health District.
The Health District continues to advise people not to use vaping products and e-cigarettes. These products should never be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, and people who do not currently use tobacco products. Even people who currently use tobacco products who wish to quit smoking should use FDA-approved therapies. Symptoms associated with the reported illnesses include:
- Respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain)
- Gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea)
- Non-specific symptoms (fatigue, fever, or weight loss)
People who use e-cigarettes and experience any of these symptoms are advised to seek medical care right away. People seeking help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, can contact the Nevada Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-Quit-Now or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) from a Nevada area code.
There have been 450 possible cases reported and six deaths; the most recent reported on September 10. These numbers are changing frequently. The CDC continues to report that it has not identified any specific substance or e-cigarette product that is linked in all cases. Many but not all patients report using e-cigarette products that contain cannabinoid products such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Up to date information is available on the CDC website.