Consumption Health & Medicine News U.S.

Vaping May Increase COVID-19 Risk, Even for the Young & Healthy

Colin Finnerty, resident of Hailey, Idaho, spent six days in the hospital fighting COVID19.  (Courtesy of Colin Finnerty)

The coronavirus continues to hit people in their 70s and 80s the hardest, but officials say it is a mistake for young people to think they can downplay their risk of getting COVID-19.

six-week-old baby from Connecticut and a 17-year-old from Los Angeles are two of the youngest victims in the U.S. to die of COVID19.

A recent report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that around 40 percent of individuals hospitalized by the virus are between 20 to 54-years-old. And, currently about half of the positive cases in California are people under the age of 50.

“A low risk should never be confused with no risk,” says Dr. Irving Steinberg, associate professor of clinical pharmacy and pediatrics at the University of Southern California.

Steinberg says young people with pre-existing conditions like cystic fibrosis, asthma or pulmonary problems; as well as patients who are taking steroids for various conditions, are likely at a higher risk to the coronavirus.

He also suggests vaping or smoking could be a risk factor.

“Anything that might be trashing the lungs in terms of their ability to withstand infection or in terms of the tissue integrity of that lung surface would be a risk category that we should be looking at carefully,” Steinberg says.

“One of the most difficult weeks of my life.”

Colin Finnerty wonders if his nicotine habit could be why he nearly lost his life to COVID19.

“I did vape and I did smoke and it did hit me super, super, super violently,” says Finnerty.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Lesley McClurg on KQED

Published: April 03, 2020

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