The outbreak of vaping-associated lung injuries this summer and fall can officially be attributed to vitamin E acetate in THC-containing vaping products, the Centers for Disease Control said today. The new confirmation of the link between the chemical and the injuries came after a new study found it in nearly all of the lung fluid samples from a new set of patients.
As of December 17, 2,506 people have been hospitalized with e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI), according to the CDC. There have been 54 deaths. The injuries started increasing in June before peaking in September, new CDC data indicates, and the number of visits to emergency departments for vaping-associated injuries have been declining since.
“It is clear that the outbreak represented a new phenomenon,” said Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, during a press conference. “It’s not a recognition of a common syndrome that had evaded our attention.”
Vitamin E acetate was first identified as a key focus of a statewide investigation in New York in September. It was later described as a chemical of concern by the CDC in November, after it was found in every one of a set of 29 lung fluid samples tested by the agency. Investigators also found that most patients with EVALI reported using THC-containing vaping products before their injury. Product testing by the Food and Drug Administration has found many of those products are contaminated with the chemical. It hasn’t been found in nicotine-only vaping products.
In the new study, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, clinicians collected lung fluid samples from 51 patients with either confirmed or probable EVALI. Vitamin E acetate was found in 48 of the samples — 94 percent. The majority of the patients also had THC in their lung fluid samples. Of the 11 patients who said they had not used THC products in the 90 days before their injury, nine had detectable levels of THC.
This set of patient samples was also compared to those from a group of 99 healthy people without EVALI, who were either e-cigarette smokers (with nicotine only), traditional cigarette smokers, or non-smokers. None of the samples from healthy people had vitamin E acetate, including those from the e-cigarette smokers.
The combination of this new data, along with previous reports and product analysis, allowed the CDC to conclude that the chemical was responsible for the outbreak. “The very large increase in cases is attributable to what was happening in this past year in the supply, with vitamin E acetate diluting or tainting THC products,” Schuchat said. In Minnesota, for example, THC-containing products from 2018 did not contain vitamin E acetate, but products from 2019 did.
Vitamin E acetate is a safe dietary supplement and ingredient in topical lotions and creams, but when it’s inhaled, it may interfere with proper lung function. Heating the chemical in a vaporizer can also cause it to break down into a compound called ketene, which can irritate the lungs. More studies are underway to figure out how vitamin E acetate might cause the type of damage seen in EVALI patients. “We don’t have to hold our breath for those results, but they’ll be helpful for us to go a little deeper in understanding the problem,” Schuchat said.
She stressed, though, that there may be more than one chemical causing these injuries. Not every patient with EVALI reported using THC-containing products, and not every tested product associated with an injury contained vitamin E acetate. “This does not mean there are not other substances in e-cigarettes or vaping products that have or are capable of causing lung injury,” she said.
One of Canada's oldest seniors, at 110 years old, gets COVID-19 vaccine at Surrey care home – Cowichan Valley Citizen
JaHyung Lee, a resident at a Newton care home, received his COVID-19 vaccine at the age of 110.
Amenida Seniors Community said in a news release that residents at the facility received the first dose of their vaccines on Thursday (Jan. 14). JaHyung Lee is one of Canada’s oldest seniors to be inoculated.
The second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be administered “in the coming weeks.”
“We are extremely lucky that we have received enough supplies to vaccinate all of our residents in care,” said Rosa Park, general manager at Amenida.
“As many of our seniors are elderly and require complex care, we can feel safer knowing that the virus won’t be spreading within our community.”
A reporter with the Now-Leader attended Lee’s 109th birthday in 2019. He was born on Aug. 27, 1910.
Meantime, Fraser Health says it has completed 151 vaccine clinics for long-term care and assisted living in the health region.
Latest COVID update Jan. 16: Sask. administers record-high vaccines – CKOM News Talk Sports
Saskatchewan administered its highest one-day total of COVID-19 vaccinations Friday.
The encouraging news comes as the province also reported two more COVID-related deaths and 270 new cases in its daily update Saturday.
The 2,857 vaccine doses were delivered in the following areas: Saskatoon (893), Prince Albert (857), northeast (426), southeast (285), Regina (267) and the far northwest (129). The far north-central region also administered 53 vaccines on Thursday. Friday’s information wasn’t available in the provincial update. There have now been 16,927 vaccines delivered across Saskatchewan.
An update on incoming vaccines from manufacturer Pfizer was also provided in the media release.
“Due to work to expand its European manufacturing facility, production of the Pfizer vaccine will be impacted for a few weeks,” the release stated.
“Pfizer is temporarily reducing deliveries, potentially by half, to all countries receiving vaccine manufactured at this facility.”
The province reaffirmed that vaccines will continue to be administered according to its priority sequence.
A shipment of 4,900 vaccines arrive from manufacturer Moderna on Friday. Distribution is happening in the central and southeast zones. Poor conditions on Friday delayed the shipment arriving in the far northeast zone until Saturday. Clinics are expected to begin Saturday and continue on Sunday.
Daily COVID-19 cases
The province is reporting a total of 19,985 COVID-19 cases.
Both people who tested positive for COVID-19 and died were from the Regina area. One was reported in the 60-69 age group and one was in the 80-plus age category.
The new cases are located in the Saskatoon (68), northwest (49), Regina (47), southeast (26), north-central (23) far northeast (15), northeast (13), far northwest (10), south-central (six), central-east (five) and far north-central (one) zones. Seven new cases are still pending residence information.
There were an additional 12 cases previously without a location assigned to the north-central (six), far northeast (two), far northwest (one), northwest (one), Saskatoon (one) and southwest (one) zones.
A total of 15,730 people have recovered and 4,043 cases are considered active.
The seven-day average of daily new cases is 311 (25.7 new cases per 100,000 population).
There are 199 people in hospital.
Of the 164 receiving inpatient care: 55 are in Saskatoon, 34 are in Regina, 30 are in the north-central region, 10 are in the northeast, 10 are in the southeast, 10 are in the northwest, seven are in the central-east, three are in the far northwest and one person is hospitalized in each of the far north-central, far northeast, central-west, southwest and south-central zones.
Thirty-five people are in intensive care. Patients are located in Saskatoon (17), Regina (nine), north-central (five), northwest (two), central-east (one) and south-central (one).
There were 3,071 COVID-19 tests processed Friday.
Active COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations climb as Ottawa reports 136 new cases Saturday – CTV Edmonton
Ottawa Public Health is reporting 136 more people in Ottawa have tested positive for COVID-19 and four more people are in the hospital.
The new figure also brought Ottawa’s number of current active cases of COVID-19 to its highest level yet for the fourth straight day.
According to Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard, there have been 12,163 total laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the pandemic began.
No new deaths were reported on Saturday. The City has lost 402 residents to COVID-19.
Provincial health officials reported 3,056 new cases of COVID-19 reported across Ontario. The province also reported another 51 deaths from COVID-19. The province reported 152 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday, for a total of 12,128.
Figures from OPH and from the province often differ due to data reporting times, OPH has said.
One key weekly figure has fallen slightly. OPH reported 88.9 cases per 100,000 residents in the last seven days on Saturday, down from 94.1 on Friday. The estimated reproduction rate of the virus held steady in Saturday’s update.
OTTAWA’S COVID-19 KEY STATISTICS
A province-wide lockdown went into effect on Dec. 26, 2020. Ottawa Public Health moved Ottawa into its red zone last week.
Ottawa Public Health data:
- COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 88.9 cases
- Positivity rate in Ottawa: 4.1 per cent (Jan. 8 – Jan. 14)
- Reproduction number: 1.01 (seven day average)
Reproduction values greater than 1 indicate the virus is spreading and each case infects more than one contact. If it is less than 1, it means spread is slowing.
Across Ontario, 14,460 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered on Friday. The provincial government says 189,090 doses in total have been administered across Ontario as of 8 p.m. Friday and 19,333 people have received both doses and completed their vaccinations.
Ontario has so far received 277,050 total doses of vaccine, 224,250 from Pfizer-BioNTech and 52,800 from Moderna, as of Jan. 14, according to Health Canada.
Ottawa Public Health said Friday that that 18,560 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered locally as of 7 p.m. Thursday.
Ottawa has received 22,245 doses to date.
On Friday, Pfizer confirmed that shipments of its COVID-19 vaccine to Canada will be cut in half over the next month as it expands its European manufacturing facility.
ACTIVE CASES OF COVID-19 IN OTTAWA
The number of people in Ottawa with known active cases of COVID-19 rose by 25 on Saturday to 1,286, the highest figure yet throughout this pandemic.
OPH said 111 people’s COVID-19 cases are now considered resolved, bringing the total number of resolved cases to 10,475.
The number of active cases is the number of total laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus the numbers of resolved cases and deaths. A case is considered resolved 14 days after known symptom onset or positive test result.
HOSPITALIZATIONS IN OTTAWA
Four more people have been admitted to Ottawa hospitals with COVID-19 complications. There are now 40 individuals in hospital, with 11 in intensive care.
The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 in Ottawa has nearly quadrupled from the start of the month. There were 11 people in hospital on Jan. 1.
Of the people in hospital, one is between the ages of 10 and 19 (this person is in the ICU), one is in their 30s (this person is in the ICU), one is in their 40s, four are in their 50s (one is in the ICU), nine are in their 60s (four are in the ICU), 10 are in their 70s (three are in the ICU), seven are in their 80s, and seven are 90 or older.
Ontario health officials say 73,875 COVID-19 tests were performed across Ontario on Friday and 50,387 remain under investigation.
The Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce does not provide local testing updates on weekends. In its most recent report on Friday, the taskforce said 1,491 swabs were taken at assessment centres in Ottawa on Jan. 14 and 7,262 tests were performed.
The next update from the Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce will be released on Jan. 18.
CASES OF COVID-19 IN OTTAWA BY AGE CATEGORY
Here is a breakdown of all known COVID-19 cases in Ottawa by age category:
- 0-9 years old: 15 new cases (860 total cases)
- 10-19 years-old: 25 new cases (1,537 total cases)
- 20-29 years-old: 29 new cases (2,572 total cases)
- 30-39 years-old: 18 new cases (1,660 total cases)
- 40-49 years-old: 21 new cases (1,592 total cases)
- 50-59 years-old: 22 new cases (1,444 total cases)
- 60-69-years-old: 2 new cases (886 total cases)
- 70-79 years-old: 2 new cases (559 total cases)
- 80-89 years-old: 1 new case (627 total cases)
- 90+ years old: 1 new case (423 total cases)
- Unknown: no new cases (3 cases total)
CASES OF COVID-19 AROUND THE REGION
- Eastern Ontario Health Unit: 59 new cases
- Hastings Prince Edward Public Health: 4 new cases
- Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health: 1 case removed
- Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit: 6 new cases
- Renfrew County and District Health Unit: 2 new cases
- Outaouais region: 43 new cases
Ottawa Public Health is reporting COVID-19 outbreaks at 36 institutions in Ottawa, including long-term care homes, retirement homes, daycares, hospitals and schools.
There are seven active community outbreaks.
Two are linked to health workplaces, one is linked to a multi-unit dwelling, one is linked to an office, one is linked to a distribution facility, one linked to a retail workplace and one is linked to a services workplace.
The schools and childcare spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:
- Andrew Fleck Children’s Services – Licensed home daycare
- Greenboro Children’s Centre
- Montessori by Brightpath
- Ruddy Family Y Child Care
- Services à l’enfance Grandir Ensemble – La Maisonée – 28627
The long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, and other spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:
- Alta Vista Manor
- Besserer Place
- Centre D’Accueil Champlain
- Chartwell Duke of Devonshire Retirement Home
- Colonel By Retirement Home
- Extendicare Laurier Manor
- Extendicare Medex
- Extendicare New Orchard Lodge
- Extendicare West End Villa
- Forest Hill
- Garry J. Armstrong long-term care home
- Grace Manor Long-term Care Home
- Granite Ridge long-term care home
- Group Home – 28608
- Group Home – 28740
- Group Home – 28848
- Hillel Lodge
- Madonna Care Community
- Manoir Marochel
- Oakpark Retirement Community
- Portobello Retirement Residence
- Redwoods Retirement Residence
- Shelter – 27549
- Shelter – 28365
- Sisters of Charity Couvent Mont Saint-Joseph
- Sisters of Charity Maison Mère
- St. Patrick’s Home
- Supported Independent Living – 28110
- Valley Stream Retirement Residence
- Villa Marconi
- Villagia in the Glebe Retirement Residence
A single laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member of a long-term care home, retirement home or shelter triggers an outbreak response, according to Ottawa Public Health. In childcare settings, a single confirmed, symptomatic case in a staff member, home daycare provider, or child triggers an outbreak.
Under provincial guidelines, a COVID-19 outbreak in a school is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff in a school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school (including transportation and before or after school care).
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