Health

Iowa vaping illnesses total reaches 23

All individuals have recovered

A man exhales vapor from an electronic cigarette. As of Friday, 23 Iowans have become ill from using vaping products, most of them containing THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. The health department is recommending Iowans not use e-cigarettes of vaping products.
A man exhales vapor from an electronic cigarette. As of Friday, 23 Iowans have become ill from using vaping products, most of them containing THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. The health department is recommending Iowans not use e-cigarettes of vaping products.

Twenty-three Iowans have fallen ill with a mysterious illness that has been linked to vaping, state public health officials said Friday.

As of Friday, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 805 vaping-related cases of severe respiratory illnesses and 12 deaths nationwide.

No deaths have been reported in Iowa, where all 23 individuals “have recovered,” the Iowa Department of Public Health said.

Most of Iowa’s cases have involved men. The age range is between 17 and 60.

The majority of those with severe respiratory illness have reported using e-cigarette products with THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana.

In Iowa, 18 of the 23 individuals reported use of THC.

“Case numbers will likely continue to increase as this investigation continues,” Iowa health officials said in a statement.

Symptoms include cough, dizziness, headache, chest pain and worsening difficulty breathing, sometimes requiring intensive care. Any patient with a history of vaping who experiences breathing problems should seek medical care.

State public health officials said Iowans should not use e-cigarettes or vaping products “since the cause of this outbreak is not yet clear and the long-term health impacts of these products are unknown.”

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Health care providers are urged to ask patients with respiratory illness about vaping and to report any case to the state Department of Public Health.

Comments: (319) 368-8536; michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

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