Vaping-related illness included on WHO official disease list

19-Oct-2019 Intellasia | PhilStar | 6:02 AM Print This Post

An unnamed, widespread illness associated with the use of electronic cigarettes, also known as Electronic Nicotine Delivery System or ENDS devices, has been included in the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD), the Department of Health said in a Thursday release.

WHO introduced ICD 10 code U07.0 “to be used immediately for reporting of acutely ill patients who have used electronic cigarettes in the last 90 days, with no other plausible causes for illness,” DOH said.

“ICD is the foundation for the identification of health trends and statistics globally, and the international standard for reporting diseases and health conditions,” according to the WHO website.

“The ICD is important because it provides a common language for reporting and monitoring diseases. This allows the world to compare and share data in a consistent and standard way between hospitals, regions, and countries and over periods of time.”

Magnitude of outbreak

An outbreak of lung injury related to the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping products has been reported in the United States recently, with a total of 33 confirmed deaths.

At least 1,429 lung injury cases associated with electronic cigarettes have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as of Tuesday.

The CDC said that it, along with the US Food and Drug Administration, state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are investigating the epidemic, which has reached “49 states (all except Alaska), the District of Columbia, and 1 US territory.”

Local efforts

DOH said it is assisting the efforts of WHO by warning the public on the harmful effects of electronic cigarettes and similar products, often used as an alternative for tobacco by smokers.

“Some studies claim that they contain fewer toxic chemicals and are less harmful alternatives to cigarettes. We do not support their claim of reduced harm,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

“These products endanger the health of both users and non-users, and are clearly not meant for children.”

The DOH urged all public and private hospitals, clinics, and health facilities to “use proper codes for designating vaping-related disorders to allow existing health information systems to capture data on vaping-related disorders.”

The data can be used to guide future policy directions for electronic cigarettes, the DOH said.

“People who have recently used e-cigarettes or other vaping products should immediately seek medical attention if they develop respiratory symptoms,” Duque said.


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