PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry is aware of the vaping-related illnesses reported abroad and will continue to monitor the situation in the country, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (pix).

He said the ministry would take the necessary steps to make sure any such cases occurring locally would be reported and treated accordingly.

“The Health Ministry is monitoring all the vape related illness abroad and locally,” he said when asked to comment on a foreign media agency report quoting the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention that the number of deaths from a mysterious lung illness linked to the use of e-cigarettes has risen to 39 in the United States (US).

The report also said the US health agency, which has been collecting information on the outbreak of the lung illness from 49 of the country’s 50 states, said there are now 2,051 such cases across the US, nearly 200 more than a week ago.

Meanwhile, locally a teenager has been warded at the Labuan Nucleus Hospital for severe internal lung damage suspected to have been caused by vaping, making it the first such case reported in the country.

In a statement on Friday, Labuan Health Department director Dr Ismuni Bohari said a thorough investigation was being carried out to determine the actual cause of the 17-year-old boy’s lung complications. — Bernama