WARSAW — Kosciusko County Health Officer Bill Remington addressed concerns Monday night, Oct. 21, to the Kosciusko County Board of Health about the use of vaping products at its quarterly meeting.
Since Sept. 6, Indiana has reported three vaping-related deaths among the 33 confirmed cases of vaping-related lung injuries in the state, according to a news release from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH).
“The CDC estimates about 1,500 cases nationwide of lung injury attributed to vaping,” said Remington.
Remington tasked Kosciusko County Health Department Communicable Disease Case Manager Teresa Reed with finding local medical cases that could be related to vaping.
“We did not find any verified cases, but some suspected cases,” said Remington.
There were 51 probable cases of vaping related lung injuries as of the last 24 hours, according to Remington.
Though none of the three deaths occurred in Kosciusko County, Remington stressed that the board remain aware of the current crisis due to vaping related deaths and injuries.
Remington said there is a lot yet unknown about the causes of vaping illnesses.
“But what they do know,” Remington said, “is that THC is present in most of the samples tested by the ISDH.”
THC is the active element in marijuana.
Remington’s current guidance for county residents is to “avoid e-cigarettes or vaping products.”
He also suggested that buyers remain wary of off the street purchases of vaping products for the possibility of dangerous additives in the vaping liquid.
Other business included:
- Kosciusko County Health Department Assistant Administrator Neal Brown updated the board on new technology being tested for mapping septic and well locations in the county. Brown is testing a Bluetooth and GPS enabled camera that locates septic tanks and wells within 10 inches.
- Remington informed the board that the number of Hepatitis A cases and opioid overdose deaths have decreased in recent months. Hepatitis A cases fell from nine at the height in Feb. 2019 to zero in Sept. 2019. In 2019, there were nine deaths related to opioid overdose, a fall from 24 reported in 2017. While on a downward trend, “these are still very real issues,” Remington said.
- Kosciusko County Health Department Administrator Bob Weaver is still waiting to hear back from the state before moving forward with the Tippecanoe-Chapman Sewer District proposal.