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Mass. Health Care Providers Must Report Unexplained Vaping Illnesses, State Says

The mandate comes as the Trump administration prepares to ban flavored e-cigarettes amid an outbreak of a mysterious lung disease

Massachusetts health officials on Wednesday announced that suspected cases of unexplained vaping-associated lung illnesses must be reported to the state, amid heightened concern over the health effects of e-cigarettes.

The Department of Public Health said a new mandate requires health care providers in Massachusetts to report any such cases over the next year to the department.

"Today’s action establishes the legal framework for healthcare providers to report cases and suspected cases so that we can get a better sense of the overall burden of disease in Massachusetts," Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel said.  

"It also will allow us to provide case counts to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as they continue to try to understand the nationwide impact of vaping-related disease," she said.

The DPH told health care providers to report any case of a person experiencing "otherwise unexplained progressive symptoms of shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, cough, or weight loss, of any severity, and an abnormal chest imaging study associated with vaping."

The mandate comes as the Trump administration prepares to ban flavored e-cigarettes amid an outbreak of a mysterious lung disease that has sickened hundreds and killed at least six people.

The DPH said it was actively investigating 10 suspected vaping-associated pulmonary cases, but added there have been no cases confirmed in Massachusetts.

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