The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) ongoing investigation of vaping-related lung disease is expanding by the day, with the number of reported cases and deaths rapidly rising in the U.S. In fact, there have now been 1,299 confirmed vaping-related lung disease cases and 30 deaths in 49 states, Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands. The only state that has not yet reported a case is Alaska.
On Oct. 11, the CDC issued a guidance naming vaping-related lung disease EVALI, or “e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury.” The outbreak seemingly began in March, when patients began presenting respiratory symptoms such as low oxygen levels, shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain and night sweats. CDC officials recently noted that as the flu season begins, clinicians need to be aware that EVALI, the flu and pneumonia all have strikingly similar symptoms: “any given individual may have a lung injury, they may have an infection, or they may have both.”
Health officials have not yet pinpointed the reason(s) behind the EVALI outbreak. While a majority of patients reported using THC-containing vaping products, others have reported using nicotine or CBD-containing products, leading FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless to comment that “it may be that there is more than one cause for this outbreak.” Health officials continue to urge Americans to not use any vaping products until a cause is identified.
Alarmingly, health officials have also begun observing that several patients who were discharged after being hospitalized for EVALI were later re-admitted to the hospital. The CDC is investigating possibilities behind the troubling new trend of readmission, including that patients’ lungs are left weakened and susceptible to lung infection due to EVALI or that they are resuming vaping after going home.
In the state of Georgia, there have been two reported deaths and 14 confirmed cases of EVALI. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) released a public health advisory after announcing the state’s second death on Oct. 8, with DPH Commissioner Kathleen E. Toomey saying that “the increasing number of vaping-associated lung injury and death are clear indications of the need for people to follow the [CDC’s] recommendations and not vape.”
If you or a loved one (who was NOT a previous cigarette smoker) developed lung disease such as Bronchiolitis Obliterans due to vaping, contact the injury advocates at Childers, Schlueter, & Smith by calling 800-641-0098 or fill out our online contact form to discuss your legal options. All initial inquiries are free of charge and without obligation.
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A partner with Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC,, Brandon Smith has devoted his practice to pharmaceutical litigation, mass torts, products liability and serious personal injury. A frequent guest speaker at legal seminars all over the country—Brandon is focused on helping injured victims nationwide, however possible. Named a SuperLawyer again in 2019, he has also been called out as one of 10 Best Attorneys For Georgia by the American Institute Of Personal Injury Attorneys and a Top 100 Lawyer in Georgia by the National Trial Lawyers in 2019.