PHOENIX — Arizona health officials announced Tuesday that three cases of vaping-related respiratory illness have been identified in Arizona, which they say is part of a national outbreak.
All three cases have been hospitalized and have since been released from the hospital, a Department of Health Services spokesperson said. All of those affected were in Maricopa County.
ADHS is working with county health departments, medical providers, and the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center to identify cases in Arizona. As of Tuesday, there have been 380 vaping-related respiratory illnesses reported in 36 states around the country. Six deaths have been reported nationwide.
“We are working with our county and federal partners to identify the cause of this very serious illness,” said ADHS director, Dr. Cara Christ “While this investigation is ongoing, we know there is no safe level of nicotine for children. It’s important that parents are talking to their children about the dangers associated with vape so they do not use these products. If your child has experimented with vaping and they are now experiencing any symptoms, please seek medical care immediately.”
Given recent reports of deaths tied to smoking electronic cigarettes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday it is activating its Emergency Operations Center.
The CDC said that activating the Emergency Operations Center "allows the agency to provide increased operational support for the response to meet the outbreak’s evolving challenges. Agency subject matter experts will continue to lead the CDC response with enhanced support from additional CDC and EOC staff."
According to the CDC, patients have reported symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever or weight loss.
Investigations into vaping products have not identified any specific substance or vape product that is linked to all cases, but vaping devices containing both nicotine and cannabinoid substances have been identified in the probe.
Anyone who has concerns about being at risk for vaping-related respiratory illness is advised to call the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center at 1-800-222-1222.