Vaping-related illness confirmed in Ontario believed to be first in Canada

Middlesex-London Health Unit had no further details about the case — believed to be the first confirmed in Canada

A youth from London, Ont., has been diagnosed with a severe respiratory illness related to vaping, local health officials said Wednesday.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit had no further details about the case — believed to be the first confirmed in Canada — but said more information would be released at a 2 p.m. news conference.

Health Canada issued a warning recently urging people who vape to watch for symptoms such as a cough, shortness of breath and chest pain. It has also said that health-care professionals should ask patients about their use of e-cigarette products if they have respiratory symptoms.

Health officials in the United States have been investigating a mysterious surge of severe breathing illnesses linked to vaping in recent months. They have identified 380 confirmed and probable cases in 36 states and one territory, including at least six deaths.

The news of the London, Ont., case came just hours after the province’s health minister ordered all public hospitals to report vaping-related cases of severe pulmonary disease.

READ MORE: Many teens don’t know they’re vaping nicotine, Health Canada finds

Christine Elliott said she has become increasingly concerned about the possible health consequences of vaping, especially among young people, but there’s a lack of data available in the province to understand the issue.

Elliott said the data will be critical as the government discusses the problem with experts on solutions to the potential dangers of vaping.

Alberta has also started legally requiring health-care professionals in that province to report suspected cases under their public health act.

British Columbia’s health ministry said last week that it was preparing a response to the issue, including education and awareness as part of a strategy to reduce the number of youth vaping in the province.

The Canadian Press

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