Del. Department of Health join nationwide investigation of vaping-related illnesses

DOVER, Del. – Health officials are on high alert after more than 400 cases of lung illnesses possibly linked with vaping have been popping up across the country. Including Delaware.

“Unfortunately we do have three suspected cases that we are currently looking at,” said Delaware Department of Public Health Medical Director, Rick Hong.

So does vaping really cause lung illness? To help answer that question, The Delaware Division of Public Health is joining 32 other states in an investigation of e-cigarette products and the connection they might have to severe respiratory diseases.

“We’re going to communicate with the medical community about the possible risks of vaping so that they can educate as well as ask the right questions if they have patience with a certain symptoms of respiratory distress that we are concerned about,” said Hong.

So far, six deaths related to this outbreak have been confirmed. Which is prompting businesses who sell these products to help put their customers’ minds at ease.

“Luckily for us at our facility everything is lab tested from Maryland. We know that there’s none of those agents in our vape pens. We find out our pens are still safe and secure for patients. We have to make sure that our patients know that our products are as safe as anything that they would find on the FDA approved pharmacy or anywhere else out there,” said Peninsula Alternative Health CEO, Anthony Darby.

Delaware health officials tell 47 ABC that there are a number of symptoms that could be related to possible lung illness:

“They could be shortness of breath, it could be chest pains as well as cough. We’re also noticing some gastrointestinal illnesses such as vomiting nausea and diarrhea,” said Hong.

And when asked why it’s so important that Delaware’s health officials look into these cases. The answer was simple:

“It definitely is our duty to protect the public. And right now there’s not enough information out there regarding the dangers of vaping,” said Hong.

And while this investigation continues– Delaware health officials are strongly encouraging people to not use e-cigarette products. But if you do continue to vape, health officials say that you should monitor yourself for symptoms like shortness of breath or chest pain, and to see your doctor immediately.

Categories: Delaware, Local News