The COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the globe and had devastating effects. As of this writing, there have been more than 1.3 million COVID-19 cases and more than 80,000 COVID-19 deaths in the US, and predictions show these numbers will likely climb much higher. This pandemic has overshadowed another serious health crisis that this country faced just last year. If you will remember, thousands of people began falling ill after using e-cigarettes and vaping products. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury, or EVALI, cases or deaths were reported in all 50 states, DC, and two US territories.
Here, we want to look at symptoms of EVALI and the symptoms that COVID-19 patients experience, as well as whether or not vaping can increase a person’s risk of being harmed due to COVID-19.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19 and EVALI?
First, we want to discuss the symptoms of COVID-19. While most people are aware of these symptoms at this point, they are worth repeating. The symptoms most commonly associated with this coronavirus include a cough as well as shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. The CDC has recently updated their list to include the following likely COVID-19 symptoms in addition to cough and difficulty breathing:
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Concerning EVALI, the CDC has said that the following symptoms may occur:
- Respiratory problems, including cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Gastrointestinal symptoms, including vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, or stomach pain
- Nonspecific constitutional symptoms, such as fever, chills, or weight loss
When comparing the symptoms of COVID-19 with the symptoms of EVALI, we can see many similarities. In fact, these symptoms are so similar that a person may confuse the two. Regardless of whether or not you think your symptoms relate to COVID-19 or EVALI, you need to consult with a medical professional. If you or a loved one are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or get to the emergency room immediately. A doctor needs to be the one to evaluate the symptoms and make a diagnosis. If you are experiencing either of these illnesses, this is a medical emergency and needs to be treated.
Does a person who vapes have increased COVID-19 risks?
It is important to understand that medical studies typically take months or years to conduct. Right now, the COVID-19 pandemic is a new global phenomenon, and there has not yet been time to conduct extensive studies on how vaping can affect those who contract the coronavirus. However, after the EVALI outbreak last year, many people are more aware of how vaping can affect a person’s health. While the CDC did link many EVALI cases to Vitamin E acetate, that does not mean that vaping is safe in general. What is clear is that anyone who has damaged lungs faces a significantly higher risk of becoming seriously ill or dying due to COVID-19. As we have learned over the last year, vaping is not as safe as many people reported it to be just a few years ago and could cause lung damage that leaves a person more susceptible to serious illness or death if they contract COVID-19. If you have additional questions, contact our Orange County personal injury attorneys for a free case consultation.