Date: February 7, 2020
Contact: Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936, (406) 461-3757, jebelt@mt.gov
                Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391, (406) 461-8367, hcouncil@mt.gov


Health officials warn that lung injury cases related to e-cigarette, or vaping, products remain a concern

Additional Montana case related to national outbreak identified

Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) officials have identified one additional case of illness related to the national outbreak of e-cigarette use, or vaping. Montana now has eight identified cases, including one death.

DPHHS officials said the new case involves an individual in their 20s from Cascade County hospitalized in January with a history of vaping. The patient is recovering.

DPHHS continues to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and local public health as this ongoing national investigation continues. Progress has been made to identify the cause of the e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) outbreak.

The latest information and current recommendations are available on the CDC website. CDC will continue to update guidance online as more is learned about EVALI.

Nationally, emergency department visits related to e-cigarette, or vaping, products continue to decline, after sharply increasing in August 2019 and peaking in September. Yet, the recent identification of an EVALI patient in Montana highlights that illness associated with use of e-cigarettes, or vaping, remains a concern. Clinicians and public health practitioners should remain vigilant for EVALI cases.

Regardless of the ongoing investigation, health officials state that e-cigarette products should never be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.  

Those involved in the national outbreak report symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are also common. Symptoms worsen over a period of days or weeks and do not appear to be caused by a pulmonary infection. Anyone who vapes and is experiencing respiratory issues should promptly consult their provider.

Healthcare providers treating patients with respiratory illness with no apparent infectious cause and who have a history of e-cigarette use are asked to notify their local health department.

DPHHS will continue to update the number of Montana cases every Friday here: https://dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/mtupp/vapingpulmonarydisease


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