Victoria – Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, has confirmed the first probable case of a vaping-related illness in BC.
There are several other investigations underway that may also meet the case definition of probable or confirmed vaping-related illness in the near future.
All reports about vaping-related illness from people, health care providers, health authorities and Health Canada will be forwarded to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) on behalf of the provincial health officer and will be investigated by public health officials. Only instances that are probable or confirmed will be reported to the public and media. Age, sex and location (including community, town or health authority jurisdiction) will remain confidential in every instance as these cases are being reported at a provincial level.
On Wednesday, Global reported that they could only confirm that this was a “young person”.
As of now, there have been 29 deaths and 1000 serious injuries in the US. In September, the first serious illness in Canada was reported in Ontario.
“These are the first cases of vaping-related illness in B.C., but we fully expect there will be more as this is quickly emerging as a significant public health issue,” Henry said. “Vaping is turning back the clock on decades of effective anti-smoking efforts and creating a new generation of young people addicted to nicotine.”
On September 19, 2019, Henry issued a notice under the Reporting Information Affecting Public Health Regulation that requires physicians to report incidences of patients exhibiting symptoms that meet the national case definition.
This includes patients:
- who report vaping using e-cigarette devices, related products or other means of inhaling a variety of products in the 90 days before symptom onset,
- who have pulmonary infiltrates on X-ray imaging,
- whose illnesses are not attributed to other causes.