For Immediate ReleaseSeptember 06, 2019
Lung Injury Cases Surge Across State
San Rafael, CA –As cases of vaping associated lung injury surge nationally and across the State, Marin County health officials are advising residents to stop vaping until more is known about this mysterious illness. While no cases have surfaced yet in Marin County, 57 cases of severe respiratory illness following e-cigarette use have been reported in California, up from 24 cases two weeks ago. Today, California’s first death was reported in Los Angeles.
The CDC reported 450 cases nationally in 33 states since July and has not yet identified the substance within the vaping product causing acute lung injury. All cases reported vaping in the weeks prior to developing symptoms. Most but not all cases have been associated with e-cigarette products containing cannabis. Many of the cases are among teenagers and young people, and one in three have required mechanical ventilation in intensive care.
“It’s especially scary that this is hitting healthy young people, since we’ve seen such an increase in vaping among Marin youth,” said Jasmine Gerraty, who leads youth outreach with the Marin County Tobacco Control Program. The number of 11th graders in Marin who reported using e- cigarettes on a regular basis more than doubled in the past two years to nearly one in three.
Marin County Health and Human Services issued a Public Health Alert to county healthcare providers today, urging them to be on the lookout for cases of otherwise unexplained respiratory illnesses. Clinicians are also being asked to advise their patients not to use any e- cigarette products until further notice.
“It’s never been healthy to vape,” added Willis. “But now we’re concerned it could land someone in the hospital.”
Dr. Matthew WillisPublic Health OfficerDr. Lisa SantoraDeputy Public Health OfficerHealth and Human Services
3240 Kerner Blvd.San Rafael, CA 94901(415) 473-4163Email: Dr. Matthew WillisMarin HHS website