Second case of lung illness in King County linked to vaping

Public Health – Seattle & King County has confirmed a second case of severe lung disease associated with vaping in King County.

The patient, a female in her thirties, was admitted to a King County hospital in mid-September with shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. The patient has since been released and is recovering. The patient reported vaping THC products purchased from legal pot shops as well as nicotine containing products without THC. The investigation into the specific vaping devices and products used is ongoing.

Public Health is working to gather any additional information and samples of substances that may have contributed to the patient’s illness.

 “This recent case confirms that the risk for lung injury from vaping and e-cigarette use is ongoing in King County. The specific devices and or substances that are responsible for the lung injury remain unknown and therefore our guidance has not changed: E-cigarettes and vaping are not safe and people should avoid using e-cigarettes and vaping until the cause of this outbreak is known,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “Youth, young adults and pregnant women should never use e-cigarettes or vape.”

Public Health investigators confirmed this case following a report by a healthcare provider of a suspected case. Providers should contact Public Health – Seattle & King County to report cases of unexplained lung disease in people who have used e-cigarettes or vaped in the past 90 days.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of September 18, 2019, there have been 530 confirmed or probable cases nationally and several deaths.

“My strong sense is that there may not be one single product or explanation for these illnesses, rather multiple possible causes that could lead to lung damage,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin.

Do not use e-cigarettes or vape products. Promptly seek medical attention if you use e-cigarette products and experience symptoms of coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, fever, nausea or fatigue.

If you need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, you can contact your doctor or call the Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Trained professionals will help you set up a quit plan, provide quit help information, and provide nicotine replacement if eligible.

More information on vaping-related lung illness:

Updated 9/20/19