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Was The Marijuana Vaping Illness Around Longer Than We Thought?

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EVALI before the 2019 outbreak, and new cases may be currently obscured by the pandemic.

Chatter around E-cigarette or Vaping-Related Lung Illness (EVALI) has been consumed by the more lethal COVID-19 pandemic, but new research indicates that hospitalizations due to EVALI likely happened before it received the national spotlight.

This April the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention implemented new coding guidelines that allowed doctors to better identify EVALI, including causes, symptoms, and more. Kam S. Ho, an internist at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and West Hospital in New York, applied the coding to 2016 hospital data and classified at least six cases as EVALI. This study was the first to apply the CDC’s EVALI coding to a national hospital registry and was presented at ATS 2020, a virtual conference for the American Thoracic Society.

The CDC reported in February that more than 2,800 hospitalized EVALI cases had occurred throughout the United States, resulting in 68 confirmed deaths. According to national emergency department visit data, the CDC noted EVALI cases sharply rose in August and eventually peaked in September. The CDC later identified vitamin E acetate present in vaping products as the culprit behind the outbreak. [Read more at The French Toast]

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