The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said that it has received the first report of a suspected lung disease associated with smoking liquid e-cigarettes.
According to the KCDC, the patient visited a medical institution after suffering from pulmonary disease symptoms such as coughing and dyspnea, and the medical staff reported the case to the KCDC after suspecting that the symptoms had a connection with vaping products.
The patient had changed to liquid e-cigarettes from heat-not-burn cigarettes six months ago. The hospital has discharged the patient after recovering from the symptom.
“The medical institution reported the case as the patient who was suffering from pulmonary diseases had a history of smoking liquid e-cigarettes,” a KCDC official said. “We have not yet determined whether the lung disease is associated with vaping.”
For the agency to determine the exact epidemiological relationship, there need to be at least several cases, but this was the only report thus far, the official added.
The KCDC stressed that it disclosed the report to encourage more reporting from hospitals as it takes a long time to get an accurate correlation through component analysis.
The report came after the Ministry of Health and Welfare recommended smokers who use e-cigarettes to refrain from using their devices until it completes investigation into the relationship between the vaping products and lung diseases on Sep. 23.
The notice was in response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s plans to ban the sale of liquid-type e-cigarettes that are popular among teenagers, because of the increasing number of severe lung diseases associated with vaping.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there had been 1,299 suspected cases and 26 deaths related to lung diseases associated with the use of liquid e-cigarettes, as of last Tuesday.
To confirm the relationship between vaping and lung disease, KCDC formed an investigational research team along with private experts to set case criteria and conduct in-depth probes.
“We plan to conduct both clinical and epidemiological studies after collecting more reports,” the agency said. “If patients need information on the progress or results of the investigation, we plan to inform them quickly and accurately.”
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