For several months now, U.S. health agencies have struggled to identify and understand a mysterious pulmonary illness linked to vaping products. Now, Quebec authorities say they’ve found the first case in Canada.
“The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) confirms a first case in Quebec of a person with severe pulmonary disease associated with vaping,” reads Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services media release issued on September 27 (and translated from French).
“Users who choose to vape must monitor for symptoms of lung disease, such as coughing, shortness of breath, or chest pain,” the release continues. Anyone who believes they are experiencing those symptoms should “promptly” seek medical attention, it adds.
Authorities have yet to identify the exact cause of the illness.
While Canada’s first case was only identified last week, U.S. authorities have raced to understand the illness for several months now.
According to a September 27 report by Stat News, the U.S. has identified 805 cases of “lung injury” linked to people using vaping products in 46 states. Twelve of those cases ended in death.
The Stat News report emphasizes that authorities have not linked the disease to any one product, brand, source, or device. It does however note that a vast majority of cases appear to be associated with vaping products used to consume cannabis as opposed to e-cigarettes that deliver nicotine.
Health Canada has issued several recent warnings about vaping and vaping products.
Shortly after Quebec said it had identified Canada’s first case of severe pulmonary disease associated with vaping, Health Canada issued an update and yet another warning for those who use such products.
“In the wake of the recent cases of severe pulmonary illnesses and a number of deaths reportedly linked to the use of vaping products in the United States, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada provided national guidance to the provinces and territories on identifying cases of severe pulmonary illness related to vaping or e-cigarette use in Canada,” reads a September 27 media release.
“Health Canada is advising Canadians who use vaping products to monitor themselves for symptoms of pulmonary illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and to seek medical attention promptly if they have concerns about their health.”