“The unfortunate death of a third Illinois resident underscores the seriousness of these lung injuries,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “New cases continue to be reported in Illinois and across the country. IDPH is urging Illinoisans not to vape or use e-cigarettes products, especially illicit THC based products, while we continue to investigate this outbreak.”
At this time, no single compound or ingredient used in e-cigarette, or vaping products has been identified as the cause of this outbreak. The latest national and state findings suggest products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources (e.g. friends, family members, illicit dealers), are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak. More than 80% of the cases in Illinois report recent use of THC-containing products, primarily obtaining them from informal sources. Additionally, almost half of the cases in Illinois have also used nicotine-based products.
Affected individuals have experienced respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Many have also experienced gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. Some patients reported that their symptoms developed over a few days, while others have reported that their symptoms developed over several weeks.
To date, IDPH has received 46 preliminary laboratory results on vaping products and devices submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Almost half of the test results were positive for THC, and of those, approximately 40% had evidence of vitamin E acetate. The FDA continues to perform additional testing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) arrived in Illinois on August 20 to assist with the investigation. IDPH is also working with local health departments, other state health departments, and the FDA to investigate the names and types of e-cigarettes, vaping products, and devices, as well as where they were obtained.
At this time, health officials have not identified the cause or causes of the lung injuries with the only commonality among all cases being patients report the use of vaping products, including e-cigarettes. No one device, compound, or ingredient has emerged as the cause of these illnesses to date; and it may be that there is more than one cause of this lung injury.
Cases have been reported in 32 counties statewide. In order to protect the identity of the affected individuals, additional information is not being provided. The investigation is ongoing, and more information will be shared as soon as it becomes available.
People who experience any type of chest pain or difficulty breathing after using e-cigarettes or vaping should seek immediate medical attention. When seeking medical attention, be sure to tell the provider you have vaped in recent weeks or months. Health care providers caring for patients with unexpected serious respiratory illness should ask about a history of vaping or e-cigarette use.
More information about e-cigarettes and vaping can be found on the IDPH website at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/tobacco/e-cigarettes-and-vapes. IDPH will update this webpage every Thursday.
Governor Supports Legislation to Ban Flavored Vaping Products in the Veto Session
Illinois Department of Public Health is Conducting Survey to Learn More About Vaping Habits As the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) continues to investigate respiratory illnesses associated with vaping, Governor JB Pritzker and IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike are urging members of the public not to use e-cigarettes or vaping devices. People who continue to use e-cigarette products despite this warning should not buy these products off the street, modify e-cigarette products, nor add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
“There is much more research needed to understand the short and long-term health effects of using e-cigarette products. During this investigation into recent respiratory illnesses associated with vaping, I am urging Illinoisans to avoid using these products,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “The safety and health of our residents – especially our young people – is critical to our future as a state, and I’m committed to using the best science to move forward in a bipartisan way to inform and protect our residents.”
The investigation has not identified any particular e-cigarette product or vaping device that is causing the acute respiratory illnesses. In addition to the general warning of the risks associated with vaping, IDPH is warning of the increased risks associated with vaping by adolescents and young adults. According to the CDC, nicotine found in e-cigarettes causes harm in the brain development of youth who vape, and those young people may be more likely to progress to traditional cigarettes.
In an effort to prevent more people from becoming seriously ill after using e-cigarettes or vaping, IDPH is conducting a survey to try to understand if vaping habits are different among people who have become sick after vaping, compared to those who have not become sick. It is an anonymous survey that takes only a few minutes and asks basic questions about the individual’s vaping habits. The survey can be found here: https://is.gd/understanding_vaping_habits
“Public health officials across the country are trying to find out what is causing hundreds of people to suffer severe respiratory symptoms after vaping,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “We would like to ask the people of Illinois to help us learn more about vaping habits to try to identify why some people are getting sick and others are not. This information could provide insight that can help prevent people throughout the U.S. from becoming ill.”
As of today, 69 cases of vaping-related illness have been reported in Illinois, including one death. An additional 13 individuals are being further investigated.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all patients have reported using e-cigarette or vaping products. Many patients, including some in Illinois, have reported using vaping devices containing cannabinoid products such as THC or CBD. Cases in Illinois have reported using more than 50 different products and devices.
In addition to these efforts, Gov. Pritzker supports moving forward this veto session with strong and effective legislation to ban flavored vaping products, which are particularly targeted at young people. Vaping products are illegal for anyone under 21 to purchase in the state of Illinois under legislation the Governor advocated for and signed into law this year.
Finally, to develop a comprehensive response to concerns about vaping, the Governor directed IDPH to convene an interagency work group of state agency leaders, including scientists, physicians, and attorneys to evaluate the health impacts of vaping and to identify appropriate controls for this largely unregulated industry.
If you have vaped or used e-cigarettes and are experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, cough, or other respiratory symptoms, seek immediate medical attention and let doctors know you have vaped.
No nicotine products are safe. If you need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vapes, contact your doctor or call the Illinois Tobacco Quitline, 1-866-QUIT-YES (1-866-784-8937)
Measles is a highly contagious disease and spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Please be cautious and consider the following:
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) continues to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated on schedule with the MMR vaccine. People 6 months and older should be protected with the vaccine before leaving on international trips.
More information is available from the CDC website.
The Stickney Township Public Health District has been notified that NCHS personnel will be conducting the survey in Southern Cook County starting April 28, 2019 through July 4, 2019. A sample of about 627 people from the area will be asked to participate. Data is collected through household interviews and standardized medical examinations in a survey mobile examination center.
The sample for the survey is selected to represent the U.S. population of all ages. To produce reliable statistics, NHANES oversamples people 60 and over, African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics.
Since the United States has experienced dramatic growth in the number of older people during this century, the aging population has major implications for health care needs, public policy, and research priorities. NCHS is working with public health agencies to increase the knowledge of the health status of older Americans. NHANES has a primary role in this endeavor.
All participants visit the physician. Dietary interviews and body measurements are included for everyone. All but the very young have a blood sample taken and will see the dentist. Depending upon the age of the participant, the rest of the examination includes tests and procedures to assess the various aspects of health listed above. In general, the older the individual, the more extensive the examination.
NHANES is designed to facilitate and encourage participation. Transportation is provided to and from the mobile centers if necessary. Participants each receive compensation and a report of their medical findings. All information collected in the survey is kept confidential. Privacy is protected by public laws. More information can be found on the cdc website here.
The Little Company of Mary Health Education Center offers Wake Up Call Screenings one Saturday each month from 7:30 am-noon. This one hour comprehensive screening for stroke and heart attack could save your life! Includes CBC, chemistry panel, cholesterol panel, thyroid level, liver enzymes and more. Ultrasound of the abdominal aorta and carotid arteries, peripheral vascular screening, heart rhythm screening for atrial fibrillation. NEW this year!!! Screening for metabolic syndrome. Includes personalized visit with the wellness nurse educator. Fee $155 (value $4,000). By appointment only. Payment required at time of registration. First appointment at 7:30 am. To register and for more information call 708 423-5774.
Since 1946, the Stickney Public Health District has provided community-based public health services to the residents of Stickney Township. Our service area includes the City of Burbank, the Villages of Stickney and Forest View, unincorporated areas of Central Stickney and Nottingham Park, and parts of the Village of Bridgeview (east of Harlem Avenue). We are focused on making Stickney Township a healthy place to live and work.
Aligned with our mission, the Stickney Public Health District has goals to promote physical activity and healthy eating; reduce obesity; and decrease the level of untreated high blood pressure in our community. We work together with many partners --- community-based organizations, schools, senior homes to name a few – to develop and implement programs and initiatives that make healthy living easier for our residents.Visit the Cook County Public Health website for more information concerning the Healthy Hotspot program.