CDC gives vaping illness new name: EVALI

The CDC has penned a new name for vaping-related illness: EVALI, which stands for e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury, according to new healthcare recommendations the agency released Oct. 11.  

The interim guidelines focus on initial assessment, criteria for hospital admission and treatment, patient follow-up, considerations for high-risk groups and public recommendations regarding EVALI. Rapid diagnosis and an understanding of treatment options could reduce EVALI morbidity and mortality, the CDC said. 

Initial assessment recommendations include a respiratory virus panel, especially during flu season, and evaluation of community-acquired pneumonia. Treatment guidelines suggest using corticosteroids. Of 140 patients who received the medication nationwide, 82 percent showed improvement, according to the CDC. However, the agency cautions providers to withhold corticosteroids when evaluating for infectious etiologies, like pneumonia, that could potentially worsen with corticosteroid treatment.  

CDC is currently developing guidelines for EVALI healthcare encounters as new data emerges. While the exact chemicals responsible for the illness are still unknown, CDC recommends people stop or decrease use of products containing THC and/or nicotine.  

As of Oct. 11, 1,299 EVALI cases have been reported in the U.S., with 26 related deaths reported in 21 states.  

For EVALI updates from the CDC, click here.

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