LA HAN--Vaping Associated with Severe Lung Disease in Louisiana
Posted by Web Administrator on 9/2/2019
Message Urgency: HIGH
This is a message from the Louisiana Department of Health Emergency Operations Center (LDH EOC) to share a Louisiana Health Advisory Network (LA HAN) message on "vaping” associated with severe lung disease in Louisiana. Please share and distribute with relevant stakeholders and partners through your own distribution channels.
The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is investigating recently reported cases of severe lung disease among individuals in Louisiana who report e-cigarette product use, or "vaping.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 193 possible cases, including one death, have been reported by 22 states. These illnesses are primarily occurring among adolescents and young adults. No single product has been implicated. Patients have reported high variability in substances/products they used in vaping, including tobacco and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) containing products as well as other products. LDH is working to determine if the recent cases reported in Louisiana fit the clinical picture being described by other states and the CDC.
LDH asks health care providers to be alert for patients presenting with severe lung disease with an unknown etiology who report a history of vaping and to report suspect cases to LDH by calling 1-800-256-2748.
Clinical Presentation and Evaluation
Patients have initial respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue with worsening over days or weeks before admission to the hospital. Other symptoms reported by some patients included fever, chest pain, weight loss, nausea, and diarrhea. Patients are typically between 17-35 years old and report no significant past medical history. Chest radiographs showed bilateral opacities, and CT imaging of the chest demonstrated diffuse ground-glass opacities, often with sub-pleural sparing. Because symptoms are consistent with an infection, a thorough evaluation for infectious diseases should be conducted.
Recommendations for Louisiana Healthcare Providers
Clinicians treating patients with significant respiratory disease in the outpatient setting should assess their patients for recent or prior use of vaping products and consider the potential for worsening disease progression if risk factors are present.
Clinicians in the inpatient setting who are managing patients with severe pulmonary disease should consider the following:
Assess patients for vaping history including vaping tobacco, THC, and/or other products.
Consider this syndrome in these patients, particularly those who have prior history of respiratory disease and no apparent etiology, infectious or otherwise.
Consider a pulmonology consultation to guide additional diagnostics and management for these patients.
Educate all patients on the risks associated with vaping and the use of tobacco products and provide patients information on where to seek care if symptoms worsen or return after initial resolution.
Healthcare providers should ask patients about any retained or remaining vaping product, including devices and liquids, in order to ascertain availability for possible testing to be coordinated by LDH.
All cases of suspected severe lung disease potentially associated with vape products should be reported to LDH’s Infectious Disease Epidemiology Section: 1-800-256-2748.
It's that time of year when high school seniors who plan to pursue university degrees begin considering exactly how much getting there will cost. After all, even though a TOPS award will help with tuition, the other things--books, transportation, housing, food--are still costs that must be met. Unfortunately, the Internet has made scamming current and potential college students much easier.
For example, a recent email urged recipients to apply for a $1000 nationwide scholarship with no eligibility requirements. However, the scholarship website included no contact information and no listing of past award winners. By offering $1000 (with no evidence that any money was awarded to students), these crooks collected the personal information of thousands of unwary high school seniors and created a database which was later sold to other scammers.
Another email scholarship offer requires students to sign up for an account with a "homework helper" website before applying for the scholarship. While this company does award the scholarships, they also use the application information to entice students to pay $10/month for their service once they enter college. Student quickly discover that they have been charged up front for the entire year and that the website does not contain enough information to be helpful at all.
Since identity theft and financial loss are primary concerns, students should look for these red flags before completing any online scholarship application:
An Application or Disbursement Fee: No legitimate scholarship will collect money for handling or processing.
Membership Requirements: If you are already a member of a group that offers a scholarship, that's great--the applicant pool will be smaller. However, if you have to buy something or join an organization where fees are required, skip it. Claims like "We Have Exclusive Access to . . . " or "We'll Do All the Work for You" should be warning signs.
"You've Won!" or "You've Been Selected" Without an Application: A phone call or email that says you've won something should be immediately questioned, particularly if you didn't apply.
Unclear Eligibility Requirements: Legitimate scholarships will have a list of requirements. If anyone can apply, it may be a scam.
Missing Information: Anyone can create a scholarship website. Does the website provide clear contact information and represent a legitimate company? When you ask questions, are they answered promptly? Is there evidence of past winners? If not, skip this one.
Spelling or Grammar Errors: Scholarships are serious matters, and the providers will make sure their applications and websites are professional.
Scholarship Seminars: In these "informational" sessions, representatives often pressure you into buying access to a scholarship search or resume preparation service. In some cases, the product is not even related to a scholarship--it's a time share or life insurance policy. Just skip this, too.
The West St. Mary High School website is intended to be a resource for our students and their families, for our employees, and for our community by offering information about our school in a timely manner. While the school makes every effort to ensure that published information is accurate and current, it makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the absolute accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of this web site. The St. Mary Parish School Board specifically disavows legal responsibility for what a user may find on an external site as it cannot control or guarantee the content of these sites. Questions, comments, or suggestions about this website can be directed to the website administrator at email@example.com. The St. Mary Parish School Board is committed to providing equal access to information, resources, and services to persons with disabilities or special needs. Those having difficulty accessing webpages or content on a webpage should contact the district web administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 337-836-9661. To file a formal grievance under Section 504 and Title II related to accessibility, visit http://stmaryk12.net/accessibility.