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Vaping e-cigarettes

BOISE — Two Idaho cases of serious respiratory disease linked to vaping have been confirmed by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

The individuals, who have not been identified, are recovering, according to a statement from Health and Welfare spokeswoman Niki Forbing-Orr.

So far, as many as 450 cases have been reported in 33 states and one U.S. territory, according to various state and local public health agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare said five deaths have been reported from the severe pulmonary disease across the country.

The department told Idaho Reports producer Melissa Davlin that one patient is 15 years old and the other is 30. Both are recovering at home.

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Health and Welfare officials did not know if the two were using vaping products that included nicotine or THC, Davlin said.

Symptoms of the disease include coughing, shortness of breath and/or chest pain that continues to worsen. Other symptoms include fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

Officials recommend parents and teens learn more about the dangers of vaping, which, in addition to inhaling nicotine, can expose users to harmful substances such as heavy metals or volatile organic compounds.

Additional information on the continuing Idaho investigation can be found on the website: epi.idaho.gov.

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