iowa department of public health

Iowa Department of Public Health

HEALTH ADVISORY: Severe respiratory illness in young adults with history of vaping

Issued: 08/14/2019

Several states (including Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California) have recently reported suspect cases of severe lung injury among patients with a history of vaping. Vaping refers to the increasingly popular practice of inhaling vapor from an e-cigarette device, which works by heating a liquid that can contain nicotine, marijuana, or other drugs. The long-term health impacts of vaping are unknown. Reported symptoms include cough, fatigue, dizziness, headache, vomiting and diarrhea, chest pain, and worsening difficulty breathing, sometimes requiring intensive care. Many cases have initially presented with a history of cough that does not respond to treatment, and have no signs of an infectious cause for their symptoms. Over the course of several days to a week, symptoms progress and cases present with worsening respiratory distress, sometimes requiring ventilator support. No specific products have been identified yet.

A potential case of severe respiratory illness in a young adult with a history of vaping (product names are unknown) has been reported in Iowa and is currently being investigated.