Purdue students sharing vaping devices spread COVID-19

Dr. Esteban Ramirez says they found students had spread COVID-19 while sharing vaping devices.

Posted: Sep 10, 2020 12:15 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Health leaders at Purdue say they have found some coronavirus cases in students that are linked to sharing vaping devices.

Dr. Esteban Ramirez is the Chief Medical Officer for the Protect Purdue Medical Center. He said at Wednesday's press briefing with the Tippecanoe County Health Department that they discovered this through contact tracing.

They are seeing some students who vape are sharing their devices with others. This creates a problem when trying to stop the spread of COVID-19. He said the disease can spread through saliva.

He said this is not the time to be sharing vaping or smoking devices of any kind.

"Purdue thought that this might be an opportunity to provide some education and be able to hopefully attract attention to the fact that this is not a great time to be sharing products like that," he said. "COVID is very easy to spread already on its own and when sharing devices where you are sharing saliva, it could be even more easy to spread."

Dr. Ramirez was not able to share exactly how many students have caught the virus this way. Currently, Purdue has an overall positivity rate of 2.54%.

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