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B.C. logs its first case of vaping illness with more suspected: health officer

VICTORIA — British Columbia has confirmed its first probable case of vaping-related illness.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says there are several other investigations underway that may also meet the case definition of the illness in the near future.

Henry says she expects there will be more cases and the illness is quickly emerging as a significant public health issue.

In a statement, she says vaping is creating a new generation of young people who are addicted to nicotine after decades of successful anti-smoking efforts.

Henry issued a notice in September to doctors to report patients showing symptoms that meet the case definition, which includes those who use e-cigarette devices and whose illnesses aren’t attributed to other causes.

There have been more than 1,000 cases reported in the United States, including 26 deaths, and the first Canadian was diagnosed in Quebec last month.

Health Canada has urged people who vape to watch for symptoms, such as a cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting and chest pain.

The agency has also said that health-care professionals should ask patients about their use of e-cigarette products if they have respiratory symptoms.

Henry released no details about the person diagnosed with the illness in B.C.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 16, 2019.

The Canadian Press