State health department to investigate vaping and respiratory illness cases

State health department to investigate vaping and respiratory illness cases

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Some doctors in South Georgia said they are glad the state is taking measures to find out whether vaping is truly dangerous.

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) reported last week that it is investigating possible cases of severe respiratory illness in individuals who reported vaping.

"Symptoms, which which worsen over time, include cough, shortness of breath fatigue, chest pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea," the GA DPH said in a statement.

Dr. Shanti Akers, a pulmonary and critical care medicine physician at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, said her office has not seen a significant number of vaping related lung injuries at this point.

DPH said it is requesting health care providers in Georgia ask patients presenting with severe respiratory illness about the use of products used for vaping nicotine and/or THC.

DPH wants doctors to report possible cases to the Georgia Poison Center.

Dr. Akers said the investigation will help doctors make a true recommendation to patients who ask about vaping.

Dr. Shanti Akers, a pulmonary and critical care medicine physician at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, said her office has not seen a significant number of vaping related lung injuries at this point.
Dr. Shanti Akers, a pulmonary and critical care medicine physician at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, said her office has not seen a significant number of vaping related lung injuries at this point.

"If all the different hospitals within Georgia report these cases, then it really gives us a larger population that we can assess the damages related to these inhaled products, maybe which products more specifically are the bigger culprit, perhaps which device may be the bigger culprit," Dr. Akers said.

She explained that patients should always be open and honest with their doctors about what substances they're using or have used.

She said parents should also be aware of what substances their children might be trying.

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