Indiana medical providers urged to report vaping illnesses

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A man displays his Juul electronic cigarette while shopping at a convenience store in Hoboken, N.J., Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. Altria, one of the world's biggest tobacco companies, is spending nearly $13 billion to buy a huge stake in the vape company Juul as cigarette use continues to decline. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Indiana officials are asking health care providers to report any young patients with a history of vaping who unexpectedly developed severe respiratory illnesses.

The Indiana State Department of Health sent an advisory last week to Indiana hospitals and other health care providers after the states of Illinois and Wisconsin reported that numerous teenagers and young adults were hospitalized with severe respiratory illnesses.

Those patients reported using e-cigarettes in the weeks and months prior to their illness. The young patients experienced symptoms that included shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain, and some became so ill they needed mechanical ventilation.

Although no cases have been reported in Indiana, the State Department of Health is urging medical providers to report any such cases to local county health departments “as soon as possible.”

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