Second Snohomish County resident hospitalized with vaping-related lung illness

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SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – A second Snohomish County resident has been hospitalized with a lung illness after vaping both flavored nicotine and THC products that were legally purchased, the Snohomish Health District reports.

The woman, who is in her 40s, was hospitalized last week.

She's the 12th case of lung illness that's been tied to vaping in Washington state.

Here's a breakdown of where the cases have been reported, according to the state Department of Health:

  • King County: 6
  • Mason County: 1
  • Pierce County: 1
  • Snohomish County: 2
  • Spokane County: 2

Of those 12 cases, four were in their teens, three were in their 20s, three were in their 30s, and two were in their 40s.

Four of those patients reported using nicotine only, while two reported using only THC products and two reported using both. It's unknown what the other four patients were vaping, the health department says.

The CDC is reporting nearly 1,300 cases of vaping-associated lung injury nationwide and 26 deaths.

Researchers haven't found one specific ingredient or contaminant that's causing the outbreak of illnesses and deaths.

Dr. Chris Spitters, interim health officer for the Snohomish Health District, said people who vape to strongly consider quitting. As for those who don't vape, Spitters said don't start now.

“Our position remains the same,” said Spitters. “There are serious health concerns with using e-cigarettes or vapor devices, regardless of what product or substance you use. Although we do not know what is causing these lung injuries, we do know that the ingredients in vaping products are not regulated by the FDA, their long-term health effects are uncertain, and this national outbreak certainly points toward potentially serious and even fatal consequences for many users.”

Symptoms of vaping-related lung illness include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, fever, nausea or fatigue.

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