A new report from the Chinese Community Party-run tabloid Global Times is laying grounds for the potential link between the vaping-related disease that gripped the U.S. in 2019 and Covid-19.
According to the report, it's possible that some of the e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury (EVALI) patients were actually coronavirus patients, and has urged the U.S. to run screening tests.
The paper claims, citing sources, that Chinese scientists reviewed 250 chest CT scans of 142 EVALI patients chosen from around 60 relevant research that have been published and discovered that 16 EVALI patients were involved in viral infections, indicating that they may have had Covid-19.
According to the tabloid, five of the incidents were classified as "moderately suspicious."
The 16 EVALI patients were all from the U.S., and symptoms started in 12 of them before 2020.
Due to the similarity of symptoms between EVALI and Covid-19 patients and the lack of nucleic acid detection kits at the time, Yang Zhanqiu, a virologist at Wuhan University, told the Global Times that it's highly likely that some Covid-19 patients were misdiagnosed as EVALI patients in 2019.
Scientists found that there were viral infection cases among EVALI infections recorded in the U.S. in 2019, and the probability of Covid-19 in vaping-related lung disease in the United States cannot be ruled out, it said.
The first case of EVALI was reported to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in August of 2019. The number of cases peaked in September 2019, and as of Feb. 18, 2020, there had been 2807 EVALI cases documented, with 68 deaths.
The CDC updates were halted in February owing to the lowering prevalence of EVALI cases and the development of the pandemic.
The Wall Street Journal reported that a classified study warning that the Covid-19 pandemic may have spilled from a lab in Wuhan has resurfaced as a focal point with US lawmakers wanting to restart the search for answers.
Researchers at the government-backed Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory determined the coronavirus could have escaped from a lab in Wuhan at a time when that line of inquiry was considered politically taboo.
The report has gained fresh political clout, however, as the idea that the pandemic was caused by research undertaken at the Wuhan Institute of Virology has gained considerable credence in recent months.