A girl contracted chlamydia in her lungs from vaping, according to a report from BuzzFeed.
The girl, whose TikTok is @germanshepardfanaccount, has since gone private after the clip in which she makes the claim was viewed nearly 2 million times. In it, she details the exhaustive process of being correctly diagnosed. She said that she suffered from a fever and pneumonia for nearly two weeks before doctors were able to figure out what was wrong.
“So, put a finger down if, um, in October you got super, super sick with pneumonia and you tried to tell everybody in your family that you felt like it was something more than that...Um, you tried to tell the doctors and the hospitals that it was something more than that — you suffered with a fever for almost 13 days,” she said, according to BuzzFeed. “Nobody believed you, they just kept testing you for COVID, testing you for antibodies, testing you for hepatitis, literally anything — everything was negative. Finally, it comes back that you have chlamydia in your lungs from vaping and smoking a bad cart.”
She claimed in the comments of the post that she was smoking a salt nicotine vape cartridge and that doctors confirmed the infection came from the cartridge. Though the product that this user was inhaling did not contain THC, health officials have warned that vaping THC cartridges can lead to severe lung injuries. In the middle of a rash of vaping related illnesses, doctors came up with a name for the problems they were seeing: e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (or EVALI).
“The latest national and state findings suggest products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources (e.g. friends, family members, illicit dealers), are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak,” the CDC wrote in a statement on the cases.
In addition to the problems with THC cartridges, health officials speculate that Vitamin E oil and other substances found in vape cartridges can build up in the lungs. However, these hypotheses have not been confirmed outside of anecdotes from physicians.
Chlamydia in the lungs is treated in the same manner as other forms of chlamydia, with rounds of antibiotics and steroids. Though the risk of a severe case is low, a pulmonary doctor told Buzzfeed that there are ways to minimize risk.
“I would say if you’re going to vape, only purchase your pens and cartridges from a reputable source — and don’t share your pen with anyone else, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Luis Chug.