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DOH to health workers: Report EVALI cases

WITH e-cigarette and vaping increasingly becoming popular among Filipinos, the Department of Health (DOH) yesterday called on all physicians and other health professionals to promptly report cases of E-cigarette or Vaping product use Associated Lung Injury (EVALI) in the country.

In a brief statement, the DOH asked doctors to report EVALI cases as provided under Department Memorandum (DM) No. 2023-0365.

“We urge physicians across the nation to promptly submit reports (of EVALI cases and deaths) to the DOH,” said the health department.

It said having an accurate database of EVALI cases will help the agency develop adequate responses.

“(It will) contribute to our collective efforts in curbing the spread of this disease,” said the DOH.

In identifying EVALI cases, the DOH urged the health sector to adhere to DM 2023-0365 or the “Interim Guidelines on the Diagnosis, Treatment, Management, and Reporting of EVALI and Related Injury Cases and Deaths.”

“This policy aims to assist the country’s health workforce in identifying potential cases and ensuring proper treatment,” said the DOH.

EVALI is a medical condition wherein the patient is clinically diagnosed with a respiratory illness or lung injury associated with the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or vaping products.

Its symptoms include shortness of breath, fever, chills, cough, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, rapid heart rate, or chest pain.

Back in November 2019, the DOH reported the first case of EVALI in the country after a 16-year-old female from Central Visayas was hospitalized.

The Philippine College of Chest Physicians reported six confirmed EVALI cases in the country from April to July 2023 alone.

The DOH said all EVALI and related explosion injury cases and deaths shall be reported by the attending healthcare provider through the Online National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (ONEISS) of the DOH, or the manual filling up of the form via the email address [email protected].