Alaska reports first vaping injury case

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services confirmed that Alaska has its first case of e-cigarette-related lung injury, also known as EVALI. He declines to identify the southeast Alaska teen. Thus far there have been 47 confirmed deaths in 25 states and Washington, D.C.

Around the country, nearly 2,300 people have fallen ill and 47 people have died.

Until the announcement, Alaska was the only state without a vaping injury or death linked to e-cigarettes or THC products.

Alaska state epidemiologist Joe McLaughlin says the teen was admitted on Thanksgiving Day and is recovering.

The individual developed a cough in early November and roughly two weeks later reported respiratory symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath and chest pain as well as gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

"This case really underscores that Alaska in not insulated from this nationwide outbreak", he said.

"Fortunately, this patient is recovering and hopefully will be discharged from the hospital soon", McLaughlin said.

Alaska's Chief Medical Officer, Anne Zink, is quoted in an emailed statement that as saying that the case is "not surprising" because of the prevalence of vaping products in Alaska. State health department officials were notified of the case on Friday and began investigating.

A previous version of this article stated that there had been nine cases investigated in the last month.

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