NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Doctors across middle Tennessee are preparing for flu season, but this year they're also on alert for vaping-related illnesses.
That's because doctors say the common symptoms of the flu -- a cough, fever, shortness of breath and vomiting -- can also apply to vaping-related illnesses.
Experts are warning parents not to brush off flu symptoms this season. They say if it seems like your kids have the flu, you need to talk to them.
"Ask your kids, 'Hey, are you vaping at all?' Not in the manner of being angry or upset, but having a frank, open conversation," said Dr. Jacob Kaslow with Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. "Because if that's the case, often times you can say, 'stop for now,' and if symptoms don't improve, they need to see a medical provider."
Two Tennesseans have died of vaping-related illness this year. Nationwide, there have been more than 2,000 cases of vaping product use associated with lung injury according to the Centers for Disease Prevention. The CDC reports 40% of patients are 18 to 24 years old.