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Doctors monitor vaping as possible connection to young COVID-19 patients, UCSF professor says

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Doctors are reportedly watching vaping as a possible connection to young people infected with COVID-19, that’s according to a professor of medicine at UCSF.

A link between vaping and COVID-19 has not been confirmed, but health experts say people who do may be vulnerable.

People who smoke or vape may be at increased risk when it comes to coronavirus. This indication comes from Dr. Stanton Glantz, professor of medicine at UCSF.

“Vaping, like smoking, depresses immune function in your lungs and your lungs in addition to moving air in and out of your body, to get oxygen to your cells and to get rid of carbon dioxide have an important immune function because when you’re breathing you breathe in a lot of bacteria and viruses,” Glantz said.

Dr. Glantz explains e-cigarettes and smoking makes it harder for your body to fight off a viral infection.

Doctors say COVID-19 directly attacks the lungs.

Vaping has skyrocketed particularly in young people.

The CDC reports that young adults from ages 20 to 44 make up a big part of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the United States.

There’s been little to no research but Glantz questions whether the virus is tied to vaping.

“A couple of colleagues here who are actually taking care of patients have noticed younger people who came in noticed that they were vaping,” Glantz said.

“What we need to start doing is keep track of whether these people are smoking or vaping because that might be contributing to what’s going on,” Glantz said.

The director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse also flagged the concern in a blog post published last week citing drug concerns in addition to vaping and smoking.

According to the post, opioids slow down breathing and have already been shown to increase mortality in people with respiratory diseases.

“I think one common sense thing to do is stop insulting your lungs as one of my pulmonary friends tells me,” Glantz said. “Lungs are designed to breathe in air, not an aerosol ultrafying particles and chemicals that you get from e-cigarettes.”

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