The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) hosted a media call on October 3, 2019, to provide an update on its participation in a multi-state investigation into an outbreak of severe pulmonary disease reported across the country. As of September 27, 2019, 46 states, including Delaware, have reported 805 cases of lung injury associated with use of e-cigarette products (e.g., devices, liquids, refill pods, and cartridges).
The CDC launched its investigation into the lung illnesses on August 1, 2019, and has worked closely since then with the Food and Drug Administration, states and other public health partners, and clinicians to determine the cause. No evidence of infectious diseases has been identified in these patients, therefore lung illnesses are likely associated with a chemical exposure. The investigation has not yet identified any specific substance or e-cigarette product that is linked to all cases. Many patients report using e-cigarette products with liquids that contain cannabinoid products, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
DPH recently issued a health alert to Delaware medical providers advising them of the CDC outbreak investigation and providing guidance for reporting possible cases. Clinicians should report cases of significant respiratory illness of unclear etiology and a history of vaping to the Delaware Division of Public Health, Bureau of Epidemiology (24/7) at 1-888-295-5156.