Update: Vaping-associated lung injury cases

Updated on 11/15/19

A new case of severe lung disease associated with vaping has been confirmed in a man in his 20’s. The individual was hospitalized and is now recovering. This brings the total number of cases in King County to six confirmed and one probable since September 20, 2019. Additional details about this recent case, including his product use, are still being investigated.

According to the latest information from the CDC, 2,172 people across the nation have been reported to have been sickened by e-cigarette (vaping) product use associated lung injury (EVALI), including 42 deaths. The CDC reported that recent evidence points to vitamin E acetate as a potential substance responsible for EVALI, but many other substances and products are being investigated. It may be that there is more than one cause for the lung illnesses.

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As of October 16, 2019, Public Health – Seattle & King County has identified three additional confirmed cases and one probable case of severe lung disease associated with vaping in King County. This brings the total number of cases in King County to five confirmed and one probable since the first King County patient was identified with vaping-related lung illness on September 20, 2019.

All of the recent four cases were admitted to King County hospitals with respiratory distress. Other symptoms varied between the patients. Some, but not all patients, had fever, cough and abdominal pain. Three of the four patients have since been released from the hospital and are recovering. The fourth patient is still hospitalized. Three of the four patients are male. Two of the patients are in their teens and two in their thirties.

The investigation into the vaping devices and products used is ongoing. The specific substances vaped by two of the patients is still unknown. One patient reported vaping nicotine only. Another patient reported vaping nicotine and THC products. Public Health is working to gather additional information and samples of substances that may have contributed to the patients’ illness.

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 October 8, 2019, there have 1,299 lung injury cases associated with e-cigarettes use or vaping and twenty-six deaths.

The Washington State Department of Health is reporting cases of vaping-related lung illness across Washington state. Visit the DOH vaping injury website for updated information.

Updated 10/16/2019

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