September 28, 2019
Health Canada is advising Canadians who use vaping products to monitor themselves for symptoms of pulmonary illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and to seek medical attention promptly if they have concerns about their health.
In the wake of the recent cases of severe pulmonary illnesses and a number of deaths reportedly linked to the use of vaping products in the United States, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada provided national guidance to the provinces and territories on identifying cases of severe pulmonary illness related to vaping or e-cigarette use in Canada.
The Public Health Agency of Canada alerted provincial and territorial public health officials and asked them to report probable and confirmed cases in their jurisdictions.
The Province of Quebec has notified the Public Health Agency of Canada of a confirmed case of severe pulmonary illness related to vaping products. This is the first confirmed case in Canada. This follows the report out of the Middlesex-London Health Unit in Ontario of another possible case. At this time, the Middlesex-London incident is not considered confirmed as it is still under investigation and has not been officially reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada by the Province of Ontario.
Provincial and territorial health authorities are responsible for investigating possible cases. Confirmed or probable cases will be determined based on the national case definition, which was adapted for the Canadian context from the criteria set out by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC).