The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has issued a statement designating e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated with lung injury (EVALI) as a temporarily reportable disease. Director, Gerd Clabaugh, issued the order to all health care providers in the state Sunday, Dec. 1, which requires them to notify the IDPH of suspected EVALI cases within 72 hours of diagnosis. As of Nov. 20, 2,290 instances have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including 47 deaths. Most of these patients have reported a history of vaping THC. While the specific cause of EVALI is still under investigation, experts have identified Vitamin E acetate, a thickening agent generally used in THC products, as a compound of concern. The order provides additional data for public health officials to better understand and characterize how EVALI is impacting Iowans. The directive remains active until May 31, 2020.
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