Following Request from U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, CDC Activates Emergency Operations Center to Help Address Outbreak of Severe Lung Disease Connected to Vaping

Hundreds of Americans have been reported sick, including more than 30 Wisconsinites

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin called for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to activate its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to address the outbreak of severe lung disease connected to vaping, and today the CDC announced that they would do so.

“My home state has been on the frontlines of this outbreak, from identifying the first cases to working with CDC to develop a specific case definition, but we need more help,” said Senator Baldwin. “I’m encouraged to see CDC step up and activate an Emergency Operations Center so the federal government can better provide the resources necessary for understanding the cause of this illness and preventing future cases.”

According to the CDC, activation of the Emergency Operations Center allows the agency to provide increased operational support for the response to meet the outbreak’s evolving challenges. Agency subject matter experts will continue to lead the CDC response with enhanced support from additional CDC and EOC staff.

In addition to calling for the CDC to activate the Emergency Operations Center, Senator Baldwin has also asked the CDC to do the following:

  1. Provide more information on the metrics used to determine if an EOC should be activated and additional details on how an EOC could further support states in their response;
  2. Work with states to ensure that experts from across offices and centers are deployed appropriately to identify the cause of this outbreak;
  3. Describe how the CDC is working with FDA and state health departments to analyze samples coming from patients across the country, as well as provide more information on the progress that has been made in testing the range of chemicals commonly used in these products; and
  4. State how the CDC is working to ensure that information about this serious outbreak is being distributed to young people.

Baldwin’s September 11, 2019 letter to CDC is available here.