A UC Davis Health pediatric team presented a powerful case series of three teenagers who had unexplained breathing problems during the COVID-19 pandemic. The series highlighted the similarities between e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) and COVID-19 symptoms and manifestations.
“EVALI and COVID-19 share many symptoms but have very different treatment plans,” said Kiran Nandalike, associate professor of pediatrics and lead author on the study. “For this reason, providers caring for pediatric patients with unexplained respiratory failure should consider EVALI and ask for relevant smoking/vaping history.”
Teenagers facing COVID-19 and EVALI
As of February 2020, over 2758 EVALI hospitalized cases and 64 deaths have been reported in the U.S. More than half of those hospitalized were younger than 25 years old.
According to Nandalike, most adolescents who vape using recreational marijuana get the substance from friends, family members or unlicensed dealers. The unregulated access to these products is