First Wyoming case of vaping-related illness confirmed in Uinta County

EVANSTON (WNE) — The first case of vaping-associated lung illness in Wyoming has been confirmed in a Uinta County resident, according to a press release issued by the Wyoming Department of Health.

The release states the young adult was hospitalized with severe lung disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, as of Thursday, Sept. 19, there were 530 confirmed cases of vaping-associated lung disease spread across the country in 38 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The CDC reported seven deaths confirmed in the states of California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota and Oregon.

Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist for WYDOH, said the Uinta County resident “reported vaping in the months leading up to illness.”

That individual is reportedly in his or her 20s and has now been released from the hospital.

The CDC reports that all patients treated for the lung disease have reported using e-cigarettes prior to becoming ill and no consistent evidence of an infectious cause has been discovered, leading to chemical exposure as the suspected culprit.

The CDC also reports that most of the patients have reported using ecigarettes containing THC or THC in combination with nicotine, although some have reported using products containing nicotine only.

The investigation into the outbreak of illness has not identified any specific vaping product or substance to link all of the cases.

Symptoms associated with vaping-related lung illness include cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, fever and even nausea, vomiting and weight loss.

“If people who vape experience symptoms associated with severe lung disease, they should seek medical care right away,” Harrist said.


Fixing illegal trash problem on reservation a high-dollar task

RIVERTON (WNE) — Addressing the issue that Fremont County Commissioner Mike Jones describes as a quandary with “no oversight,” Wyoming lawmakers are consulting with Wind River Indian Reservation solid waste officials to address illegal garbage dumping on the reservation.

Former Wind River Environmental Quality Commission director Ryan Ortiz described the litter as “rampant” in his talks with state legislators in an August meeting. (Ortiz has since left the position in solid waste to accept a job as chief financial officer for the Northern Arapaho Tribe.)

Council woman Snyder and Fremont County Solid Waste District Superintendent of Operations Andy Frey estimated there were about 400 tons of garbage at the Fort Washakie transfer site and 800 tons at the Ethete site – not including the garbage illegally dumped on the rural expanses throughout the rest of the reservation.

Fremont County Solid Waste District Superintendent of Operations Andy Frey said the county has 20 small scale, low hazard, low volume transfer stations in rural areas that are similar in every respect to the ones on the reservation, with two exceptions: they charge fees and are secured during off-hours.

“We run those sites in a somewhat different manner in that we charge fees; we have them fenced; the gates are closed and locked when the sites are not open.”


Man who shot Teton Park wolf gets guiding probation

JACKSON (WNE) — A Kelly resident and big game hunting guide who illegally shot and killed a wolf in Grand Teton National Park last winter is being allowed to commercially outfit hunters without interruption.

Meeting Aug. 26, the Wyoming State Board of Outfitters and Professional Guides unanimously decided to issue Gros Ventre Wilderness Outfitters owner Brian Taylor a one-year conditional outfitters license.

That was the recommended penalty proposed by a three-person investigative committee, said Amanda McKee, executive director of the outfitters board.


From Wyoming News Exchange newspapers