Flu season could make diagnosing vaping-related illnesses more challenging, doctors say


(WTNH) — With flu cases already being reported, public health experts are voicing their concerns that the 2019 flu season could make it more difficult to diagnose vaping-related illnesses.

As of Friday, there have been 18 cases of lung injuries related to vaping reported in Connecticut.

Doctors said it also poses a double threat to those who vape.

They suggest vapers see their doctor during flu season because their lungs could be undress distress.

While the symptoms of the flu and vaping-related injuries may be similar, Dr. Steven Rogers, of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Emergency Room, said they have vastly different outcomes.

He said they even look the same on a chest X-ray.

“There are certainly findings on a chest X-ray that look like pneumonia or other congestion in the lungs,” Rogers said. “Both problems can cause that kind of a picture on a chest X-ray. It’s haziness.”

Left: X-ray that could show the flu or vaping-related illness. Right: Norma; chest X-ray. Credit: Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Emergency Room

Rogers said anytime a child or teenager is having trouble breathing, their parents should seek immediate care or call 911.

“It’s certainly not going to be good if you’re vaping,” Roger said. “We encourage people to get the flu vaccine so they can avoid both.”

Rogers recommends that parents continue to talk with their children about the potential dangers of vaping. He also said that everyone should get the flu vaccine.

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