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Maine reports first case of vaping disease affecting more than 500 nationwide



An adult in Maine became ill using electronic cigarettes, the first such case in the state, the Maine Disease Control and Prevention Center reported Friday.

The case involves an adult experiencing symptoms similar to those reported in other conditions in which people using vapes or e-cigarettes report coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever and abdominal pain.

No additional patient information or symptoms. Although it is not clear how serious the disease is, no one is known to have died in Maine from a disease related to vaping, the Maine CDC reported.

Federal health officials said Thursday that 530 people became ill with the mysterious vaping-related lung disease nationwide and seven of those people died from the disease. Officials said they had not identified the cause of the sensation and did not appear to have any product or substance related to all cases. At least 39 states have been identified.

"We leave no stone unturned," Mitchell Zeller, director of the US Food and Drug Administration's Tobacco Center, said during a news briefing Thursday.

Since August, the CDC in Maine has asked physicians in the state to report cases of vape use that include similar symptoms.

Robert Long, a spokesman for the CDC in Maine, cited privacy concerns and refused to provide specific information about when an elderly Maine became ill, the age and gender of the person, or where the patient resides in the state.

But Long warns against using an electronic cigarette with a vape or an electronic cigarette.

"We're trying to get the message out that if people haven't started vaping, they shouldn't. People who take vape should be aware of the risks involved and public health officials are still identifying what those risks are as new information comes in, "he said.

Vaping has been viewed by many users as safer. an alternative to smoking. But the influx of vaping-related illnesses has heightened concerns about the dramatic increase in e-cigarette use among school-age children and the lack of regulation and knowledge about short- and long-term health effects.

Maine school districts struggle with increasing vaping in school bathrooms, hallways and even in classrooms. Some devices, such as the popular Juul electronic cigarette, are small and easy to hide. The devices heat a fluid containing nicotine or THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Liquids can enter into sweet flavors that critics say are designed to appeal to children.

In December 201

8, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams announced vaping of an epidemic among young people and young adults.

A new Maine law that came into force Thursday bans vaping on school grounds nationwide. New York became the first state to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes on Tuesday. And on Friday, Walmart said he would stop selling e-cigarettes at his stores and at Sam's clubs.

Doctors across the country have already observed hundreds of cases in which patients show up in an emergency room at a hospital because of symptoms that appear suddenly and involve dangerous damage to the respiratory system. Patients' lungs can look devastated by disease or as if they have been exposed to a harmful industrial chemical. The only thing they share in common is the use of vaping products.

Cases have been occurring over the last few years, but the severity and number of cases have increased, prompting doctors to suspect any change in the vaping devices or liquids loaded in

. Diseases have been reported most commonly in patients inhaling THC, according to federal officials. Some are related to the use of devices with both THC and nicotine, while few use only nicotine devices.


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