Cuyahoga County Man First Local Confirmed Case Of Vaping Illness
A 59-year-old Beachwood man is the first confirmed case of vaping related illness in Cuyahoga County, according to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and county health officials.
In total, there are 17 confirmed cases in the state and officials are investigating reports of severe lung disease among 22 other people who reported recent vaping, said Megan Smith, spokesperson for ODH.
Based on erroneous information from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, several news outlets reported Thursday that the case in Cuyahoga County involved a 64-year-old North Olmsted woman who became very sick. “That is not true,” said Smith.
The county health department issued a correction on Friday and confirmed the case actually involved the man from Beachwood.
Nationwide, people who vape continue to be diagnosed with severe and unexplained lung illness.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday that there are now 530 confirmed or probable cases of lung injury associated with vaping, a jump from 380 cases reported last week. Seven people have died, but no deaths have been reported in Ohio.
"We at CDC are very concerned about the occurrence of life-threatening illness in otherwise healthy, young people," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC's principal deputy director, during a conference call with reporters from National Public Radio and other news organizations.
She said this is an ongoing outbreak and states continue to report new cases.
The CDC has ramped up its investigation, activating its Emergency Operations Center this week in an effort to nail down the cause of the illnesses, which remains unclear.
In addition, the Food and Drug Administration has enlisted the help of its office of criminal investigations, the law enforcement arm of FDA.
"We are in desperate need of facts," the FDA's Mitch Zeller said during the call with reporters Thursday.
ODH is advising people to seek immediate medical help if they experience serious breathing problems and have been vaping.