Alaska reports first vaping injury case

The state has now seen a total of 20 cases of EVALI - what health officials are referring to as 'E-cigarette or Vaping Product Associated Lung Injury.' Two cases have been fatal. He declines to identify the southeast Alaska teen.

Alaska was the last state to officially confirm a case of EVALI, which has caused 2,290 cases of lung illness and caused 47 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Around the country, nearly 2,300 people have fallen ill and 47 people have died.

"This case really underscores that Alaska in not insulated from this nationwide outbreak", he said.

Alaska state epidemiologist Joe McLaughlin says the teen was admitted on Thanksgiving Day and is recovering.

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The otherwise healthy teen complained of symptoms that included shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea after developing a cough in early November.

DHSS says that the patient is now in the hospital and is steadily recovering.

"Our thoughts are with the patient and family members and we are thankful the patient is steadily recovering", said Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska's chief medical officer, in a written statement by the department. It has been corrected to state that there have been nine cases investigated in the past several months.

Symptoms of vaping illness can be similar to the flu, McLaughlin said.

The CDC recommends people avoid e-cigarette use, especially those that contain THC, a component of marijuana.

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