ND Department of Health Investigating Six New Probable Cases of Vaping-Related Illnesses
According to the CDC, 36 states have reported cases of vaping–related illnesses
NORTH DAKOTA — Doctors nationwide are getting more patients complaining of wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing.
But when they run the normal tests, the results are out of the ordinary.
“We’re not finding any pneumonia, we’re not finding any strep, we’re not finding any legionella when we’re doing all of these medical tests. What could be causing it?” said North Dakota Department of Health Field Epidemiologist Brenton Nesemeier.
They believe it’s vaping.
“As of September 11th, there was 380 confirmed cases with the CDC nationwide, and so, I anticipate that we will be seeing those numbers in North Dakota go up,” said Fargo Cass Public Health Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Melissa Markegard.
There are seven vaping–related illness cases in North Dakota.
Only one is confirmed.
Six are still under investigation and classified as probable.
“They’re looking at, you know, those lung x–rays, they’re looking at whether or not respiratory panels have been done to rule out infectious organisms,” said Nesemeier.
According to the Department of Health, all seven patients are between the ages of 16 to 36, and 57 percent of them are males.
The majority have been hospitalized.
“You know, they may have been hospitalized for two days, they may have been hospitalized for a week or more. They may be hospitalized here, and then go home, and then get back hospitalized again,” said Nesemeier.
But even if they’re admitted, there currently isn’t a complete cure for their illness.
“Steroids may help to make your lungs stronger, but it’s not curing it,” said Nesemeier.
For now, they say there’s only one surefire way to prevent getting sick from vapes.
“We don’t have ways to treat these lung injuries that medical professionals are seeing. And so, we are, we’re suggesting complete vaping avoidance at this time,” said Markegard.
Seven vaping–related deaths have been reported across the nation, including one in Minnesota.