Genesis doctors looking into first possible vaping-related illness in Quad Cities

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Doctors at Genesis Health System are looking into what could be the first vaping related illness in the Quad Cities.

The adult patient went to the hospital this past August with symptoms similar to a severe lung illness that's been linked to vaping. This case, however, has not been confirmed to be caused by vaping.

The patient's gender, age and current health condition is unknown.

Dr. Humphrey Wong, a pulmonary specialist at Genesis, says vaping has a different effect on the lungs, compared to smoking cigarettes, like asthma or COPD. He adds that the symptoms being seen in lung diseases recently look like pneumonia or pneumonitis.

"What we're seeing now is lots of injury associated with inflammation, rather than destruction of lung tissue," Dr. Wong says. "So when you get inflammation, you get swelling that happens all of sudden, and that happens very quickly."

He also said that the inflammation restricts the flow of oxygen to the lungs, making these lung illnesses connected to vaping potentially life-threatening.

Dr. Wong says he's unsure why vaping-related illnesses have increased recently, since e-cigarettes have been around for years. But, he believes it could be due to either the higher popularity of e-cigarettes or a difference in the ingredients the products are made with.

So far, six deaths and more than 450 illness cases of lung disease possibly connected to vaping were reported across the country.

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