Saskatchewan orders hospitals to report vaping-related severe respiratory illnesses
All cases of severe respiratory disease in Saskatchewan that may be due to vaping must now be reported immediately to local health authorities, the province’s health minister said Friday.
Jim Reiter said the directive was issued so the Health Ministry can monitor vaping-related illnesses.
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“I am concerned with the recent incidents of vaping related illnesses, as well as the high rates of vaping we are seeing among Saskatchewan youth,” Reiter said.
“Although Saskatchewan has not recorded any instances of pulmonary illness associated with vaping similar to the recently reported cases in the United States and Ontario, earlier this week I directed Saskatchewan public health officials to monitor all cases as they present in intensive care units.”
Notification of the directive under the Public Health Act was sent to all hospital intensive care units in the province by Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab.
The first known suspected vaping-related illness case in Canada was reported earlier this week in London, Ont.
The Middlesex-London Health Unit said that the high school-aged youth had to be temporarily put in the intensive care unit, and has since recovered.
There have been eight vaping-related deaths in the U.S., and over 500 people have been diagnosed with vaping-related illnesses.
Health Canada issued a warning to Canadians two weeks ago that vaping products can carry a risk of pulmonary illness. Health Canada has also previously stated there had been no known vaping-related illness reported in the nation.
“Parents, please speak to your children about the risks associated with vaping,” Reiter said.
“Any and all members of the public who have questions about non-severe symptoms they may be having due to or exacerbated by vaping should contact the Healthline at 811 or talk to their health care provider.”
—With files from Andrew Graham and Leslie Young
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