Increase in Pertussis Cases Observed in 2019

Increase in Pertussis Cases Observed in 2019

November 14, 2019

A total of 70 confirmed and probable pertussis infections have been investigated by Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) staff so far this year. Most have been unrelated cases. While only slightly fewer cases were reported during 2018 (65), almost two thirds of last year’s total were related to a large outbreak at a residential boarding school. In 2017, only 32 cases were reported. This year, one adult and two infants have been hospitalized. Vaccination status has varied, though as expected, many cases have occurred in children and adults who have been unimmunized, partially immunized or whose immunization status was unknown.

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Hepatitis A Outbreak Continues Into Fall

Hepatitis A Outbreak Continues Into Fall

November 14, 2019

Spokane County’s hepatitis A outbreak, which began in June 2019, continues to advance with new cases diagnosed every week. Primarily affecting people experiencing homelessness and/or substance abuse, 59 cases were reported as of November 17, 2019 with a 69 percent hospitalization rate and a median length of hospital stay of four days. Potentially  contributing to the high hospitalization rate, at least 35 percent of cases had  evidence of chronic viral hepatitis co-infection with hepatitis B and/or hepatitis C. At least 86 percent had known risk factors of homelessness and/or substance abuse.

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Vaping 101: What Are These Things and What’s in Them?

Vaping 101: What Are These Things and What’s in Them?

October 29, 2019


With the CDC reporting 1,888 lung injury cases and 34 deaths (as of Oct. 29, 2019) associated with e-cigarette use or vaping products, there have been many questions about the products’ safety. To date, no one substance, chemical or device has been found to be present in all cases.

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Vaping and Health Risks: Information for Healthcare Providers

Vaping and Health Risks: Information for Healthcare Providers

October 29, 2019

Whether it is nicotine, flavoring, or marijuana, vaping is not safe. Vapor products are frequently championed as the safe alternative to combustible tobacco. When it comes to several cardiovascular and pulmonary health impacts associated with combustible tobacco use, vapor products are shown to have a less significant impact.

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Vaping-Associated Lung Injury: An Update

Vaping-Associated Lung Injury: An Update

October 29, 2019

Since the first lung illness/injury cases were reported in Illinois and Wisconsin in April 2019, almost 1,900 cases of vaping-related injuries, now referred to as e-cigarette/vaping-associated lung injury (EVALI) have been documented in every state but Alaska (as of Oct. 29, 2019).

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