Ontario youth with vaping-related illness was on life support

Henrietta Brewer
September 19, 2019

Mackie says doctors and researchers are still working to define the illness and haven't confirmed many details, "so there is no smoking gun, and no way to say for sure that any individual case of pulmonary illness is caused by vaping".

American officials have linked certain cases to vaping marijuana, but Mackie wouldn't say whether that was a factor here.

"It's important to point out that there are limits to the science here", said Mackie.

The unidentified teen - whose gender and age were not disclosed - was diagnosed with "severe respiratory illness" that health officials link to vaping, the Middlesex-London Health Unit said.

Each Wednesday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment provides an update on the vaping and lung illness website, according to a news release form the department. "It's not known how e-cigarettes are causing these health concerns".

Dr. Christopher Mackie, medical officer of health and CEO of the MLHU, says the high school-age youth - who was using e-cigarettes daily - had no other health issues.

A few weeks ago, Health Canada issued an alert regarding vaping products.

"We are dealing with this as a priority across our government", she said.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Chris Mackie and chronic disease and tobacco control manager Linda Stobo will speak about the case at a press conference at the health unit's King Street office Wednesday afternoon. "There was no other potential cause identified other than vaping". USA health officials have identified 380 confirmed and probable cases in 36 states and one territory, including at least six deaths.

The youth's hospitalization also comes as Ontario's health minister has ordered all public hospitals to report vaping-related cases of severe pulmonary disease. He said the use of vaping products is escalating.

Health Canada has been urging people who vape to watch for symptoms such as a cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting and chest pain.

"This is the beginning of a crucial stage of collecting data and information that will allow us to fully understand the health risks of vaping, so that we can make informed decisions on how to respond".

He added that the youth had "no other health issues, whatsoever".

In London, as in Ottawa, vaping is a growing problem among high school and even elementary school students, despite laws banning the sale of e-cigarettes, or their promotion, to minors.

Many stricken adolescents and young adults, previously healthy, have required machines to help them breathe.

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