The province has confirmed the first probable case of a vaping-related illness in B.C.
Several other investigations are underway that may also meet the case definition of probable or confirmed vaping-related illness in the near future, said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer.
“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 Sept. 19, 2019, Henry issued a notice that requires physicians to report incidences of patients exhibiting symptoms that meet the 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, those who pulmonary infiltrates on X-ray imaging, and those whose illnesses are not attributed to other causes.
All reports about vaping-related illness will be forwarded to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and 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, the government said.