Some victims of the mysterious vaping-related lung disease that swept through all 50 U.S. states in 2019 were actually Covid-19 patients, according to a group of Chinese scientists and radiologists. After reviewing some 250 chest CT scans from published papers, the group says they are confident in the conclusion that some patients were wrongly diagnosed with e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury (EVALI).
The scientists are now urging U.S. officials to start screening for Covid-19 in patients who in 2019 were diagnosed with EVALI. . According to the Global Times, sources close to the matter said that after studying 250 chest CT scans of 142 EVALI patients selected from some 60 related studies that have been published, the scientists found that 16 EVALI patients were involved in viral infections, which indicates that they could have had Covid-19. Five of the cases were determined as “moderately suspicious.”
The 16 EVALI patients were all from the U.S., and in 12 patients symptoms started before 2020. Researchers concluded that there were viral infection cases among EVALI infections reported in the U.S. in 2019, and the possibility of Covid-19 in the vaping-related lung disease in the U.S. cannot be ruled out, sources said.
Yang Zhanqiu, a virologist at Wuhan University, said that due to the similarity of symptoms between EVALI and Covid-19 patients and since no nucleic acid detection kits were available at the time, it’s highly likely that some Covid-19 patients were actually misdiagnosed as EVALI patients in 2019.