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First case of vaping-related severe lung disease confirmed in Wyoming

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A patron exhales vapor from an e-cigarette in 2014 at a store in New York. The state Department of Health has announced the first recorded instance of a Wyoming resident being hospitalized for lung disease related to vaping.

A Uinta County resident was hospitalized with a severe lung disease related to vaping, the first confirmed case in Wyoming of a condition that’s spreading across the nation and has thus far killed at least six people.

The Wyoming Department of Health confirmed the report in a news release Thursday afternoon but provided few details. The release said only that the person was a Uinta County resident, is a young adult and was “hospitalized with severe lung disease.” Dr. Alexia Harrist, the state’s health officer and epidemiologist, said in a followup interview that the person, who is in their 20s, was released from the hospital.

Harrist said the state is investigating several other potential cases of vape-related lung disease and is expecting to see more of the mysterious illness in the Equality State.

Wyoming Health Department sends health alert to doctors amid national outbreak of vaping-related illnesses

The young adult who was hospitalized had vaped in the months prior to their hospitalization.

“We will continue to work with local and federal officials to investigate and identify the specific substances or vaping products that are linked to this outbreak,” Harrist said in the press release.

At least six people have died across the U.S. from vaping-related lung disease. As of Sept. 6, at least 450 people have become sick in relation to the outbreak. The exact cause is not yet known, however.

As authorities across the country investigate, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending people consider not vaping. The agency is further recommending that anyone who continues to vape should not buy vape products off of the street and should not use products with THC, CBD or cannabinoids.

Cheyenne smoking ban now includes e-cigs

“If people who vape experience symptoms associated with severe lung disease, they should seek medical care right away,” Harrist said in the release. She told the Star-Tribune that the Health Department had sent out an alert to health care providers again Thursday asking them to be on the lookout for the condition and to report it to public health officials.

Those symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever and weight loss.

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that the federal government plans to ban thousands of flavors used in e-cigarettes.

Follow education reporter Seth Klamann on Twitter @SethKlamann


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Education and Health Reporter

Seth Klamann joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 and covers education and health. A 2015 graduate of the University of Missouri and proud Kansas City native, Seth worked for newspapers in Milwaukee and Omaha before coming to Casper.

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