Arkansas Department of Health investigating possible vaping-related lung illnesses

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Arkansas is one of seven states investigating such cases

FILE – In this April 23, 2014 file photo, a man smokes an electronic cigarette in Chicago. On Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they are investigating more cases of a breathing illness associated with vaping. The root cause remains unclear, but officials said Friday that many reports involve marijuana vaping. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

ARKANSAS (KFTA) — Those with the Arkansas Department of Health are warning Arkansans to consider the risk of a potential lung illness derived from electronic smoking devices, e-cigarettes and vaping.

The state health department reports four cases in Arkansas are being investigated.

Arkansas is one of seven states that have potential vaping-related lung diseases being investigated. The other states include California, Illinois, Indiana, New York Utah and Wisconsin.

Some states have reported more than 200 cases of a vaping-related lung disease. One person has died. In all confirmed cases, the patient had vaped before being admitted into hospitals.

Symptoms include fatigue, chest pain, difficulty breathing, coughing, fever, nausea and diarrhea.

The products consumed could include a number of substances, including nicotine, flavorings, THC, synthetic cannabinoids, or a combination of these, according to the state health department.

“We are encouraging clinicians from across the state to reach out to Arkansas Department of Health if they encounter patients with this illness and a history of vaping to help us better track, treat, and understand these illnesses,” said Dr. Appathurai Balamurugan (Dr. Bala), ADH deputy chief medical officer and state chronic disease director. “We suspect there are cases that have not been reported yet.”

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