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Vaping-related illness confirmed in Gallatin County

The person has a history of vaping nicotine, THC, and flavor-containing products
Posted at 1:59 PM, Oct 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-08 16:02:20-04

GREAT FALLS — Gallatin County has its first confirmed case of a vaping-related pulmonary illness, according to the Gallatin City-County Health Department (GCCHD) and the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services (DPHHS).

GCCHD said in a press release that a Gallatin County resident in their 20s was hospitalized with the illness in September and is now home recovering. The person has a history of vaping nicotine, THC, and flavor-containing products, the release said.

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Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are also common. Symptoms worsen over a period of days or weeks and do not appear to be caused by a pulmonary infection. Anyone who vapes and is experiencing respiratory issues should promptly consult their provider.

The case in Gallatin County is the second confirmed in Montana. The first case was a person in Yellowstone County in their 30s with a history of vaping nicotine and THC.

On Tuesday, Governor Steve Bullock announced that he has ordered a temporary ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in Montana; click here for details.

The federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has more information on its website, including this overview:

  • As of October 1, 2019, 1,080* lung injury cases associated with using e-cigarette, or vaping, products have been reported to CDC from 48 states and 1 U.S. territory.
  • Eighteen deaths have been confirmed in 15 states.
  • All patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette, or vaping, products.
  • Most patients report a history of using THC-containing products. The latest national and regional findings suggest products containing THC play a role in the outbreak.
  • Approximately 70% of patients are male.
  • Approximately 80% of patients are under 35 years old.
    • 16% of patients are under 18 years old
    • 21% of patients are 18 to 20 years old
  • The specific chemical exposure(s) causing lung injuries associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping, remains unknown at this time.
  • No single product or substance has been linked to all lung injury cases.
    • The outbreak is occurring in the context of a dynamic marketplace for e-cigarette, or vaping, products, which may have a mix of ingredients, complex packaging and supply chains, and include potentially illicit substances.
    • Users may not know what is in their e-cigarette or e-liquid solutions. Many of the products and substances can be modified by suppliers or users. They can be obtained from stores, online retailers, from informal sources (e.g. friends, family members), or “off the street.”
  • More information is needed to know whether one or more e-cigarette or vaping products, substances, or brands is responsible for the outbreak.