Vaping-related lung transplant performed at Detroit hospital

More than 2,000 Americans who vape have gotten sick since March, many of them teenagers and young adults. (AP)
Updated 12 November 2019

Vaping-related lung transplant performed at Detroit hospital

  • ‘The first double lung transplant in the world for a patient whose lungs were irreparably damaged from vaping’
  • More than 2,000 Americans who vape have gotten sick since March, many of them teenagers and young adults

DETROIT: Doctors at a Detroit hospital have performed what could be the first double lung transplant on a man whose lungs were damaged from vaping.
No other details of the transplant were released Monday by Henry Ford Health System, which has scheduled a news conference Tuesday. The patient has asked his medical team to share photographs and an update to warn others about vaping.
The team of medical experts that performed the procedure believes it is “the first double lung transplant in the world for a patient whose lungs were irreparably damaged from vaping,” the health system said in a news release Monday.
“It would be nice if it’s the last — if the epidemic of acute lung injury can be brought under control,” said Dr. David Christiani at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Christiani said he’s not sure if the number of double lung transplants due to vaping illnesses will increase. He said factors include the availability of donor lungs and the chronic effects of illnesses from vaping that could lead to other types of conditions.
More than 2,000 Americans who vape have gotten sick since March, many of them teenagers and young adults, and at least 40 people have died.
“We’ve certainly seen people who are very sick with this,” said Dr. Denitza Blagev, a pulmonologist at Intermountain Health Care in Salt Lake City. “I’m not aware (of any other double lung transplants) and 100 percent certain none of the patients in our system have had a lung transplant from e-cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury.”
Christiani and Blagev were not involved in the Detroit transplant.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week announced a breakthrough into the cause of a vaping illness outbreak, identifying the chemical compound vitamin E acetate as a “very strong culprit” after finding it in fluid taken from the lungs of 29 patients. Vitamin E acetate previously was found in liquid from electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices used by many who got sick and only recently has been used as a vaping fluid thickener.
Many who got sick said they had vaped liquids that contain THC, the high-inducing part of marijuana, with many saying they received them from friends or bought them on the black market.
E-cigarettes and other vaping devices heat a liquid into an inhalable vapor. Most products contained nicotine, but THC vaping has been growing more common.
Some states have enacted bans or are considering bans on some vaping products.
Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker issued an emergency ban on vaping products in September in response to the lung illnesses.
In Michigan, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also in September ordered the issuance of emergency rules banning flavored electronic cigarettes after her chief medical executive found that youth vaping is a public health emergency. Whitmer has accused the makers of using candy flavors and deceptive ads to hook children.
A Michigan Court of Claims judge last month issued a preliminary injunction, blocking the state’s ban.
AP Medical Writer Carla K. Johnson contributed from Seattle.

EXPLAINER: Why monkeypox cases are rising in Europe

Updated 19 May 2022

EXPLAINER: Why monkeypox cases are rising in Europe

LONDON: A handful of cases of monkeypox have now been reported or are suspected in the United Kingdom, Portugal and Spain.
The outbreaks are raising alarm because the disease mostly occurs in west and central Africa, and only very occasionally spreads elsewhere.
Here’s what scientists know so far.

’Highly unusual’
Monkeypox is a virus that causes fever symptoms as well as a distinctive bumpy rash. It is usually mild, although there are two main strains: the Congo strain, which is more severe – with up to 10 percent mortality – and the West African strain, which has a fatality rate of more like 1 percent of cases. The UK cases are least have been reported as the West African strain.
“Historically, there have been very few cases exported. It has only happened eight times in the past before this year,” said Jimmy Whitworth, a professor of international public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who said it was “highly unusual.”
Portugal has logged five confirmed cases, and Spain is testing 23 potential cases. Neither country has reported cases before.

The virus spreads through close contact, both in spillovers from animal hosts and, less commonly, between humans. It was first found in monkeys in 1958, hence the name, although rodents are now seen as the main source of transmission.
Transmission this time is puzzling experts, because a number of the cases in the United Kingdom — nine as of May 18 — have no known connection with each other. Only the first case reported on May 6 had recently traveled to Nigeria.
As such, experts have warned of wider transmission if cases have gone unreported.
The UK Health Security Agency’s alert also highlighted that the recent cases were predominantly among men who self-identified as gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men, and advised those groups to be alert.
Scientists will now sequence the virus to see if they are linked, the World Health Organization (WHO) said this week.

Why not?
One likely scenario behind the increase in cases is increased travel as COVID restrictions are lifted.
“My working theory would be that there’s a lot of it about in west and central Africa, travel has resumed, and that’s why we are seeing more cases,” said Whitworth.
Monkeypox puts virologists on the alert because it is in the smallpox family, although it causes less serious illness.
Smallpox was eradicated by vaccination in 1980, and the shot has been phased out. But it also protects against monkeypox, and so the winding down of vaccination campaigns has led to a jump in monkeypox cases, according to Anne Rimoin, an epidemiology professor at UCLA in California.
But experts urged people not to panic.
“This isn’t going to cause a nationwide epidemic like COVID did, but it’s a serious outbreak of a serious disease – and we should take it seriously,” said Whitworth.

What We Are Eating Today: Tanuki

Updated 13 May 2022

What We Are Eating Today: Tanuki

If you are in Jeddah and want sushi for lunch or dinner, yet are planning on a cozy stay at home, Tanuki is an ideal choice.

The sushi cloud kitchen offers professionally made nigiri, sushi and maki rolls, with more than 16 options, as well as Japanese selections with high-quality ingredients at an affordable price.

Tanuki chef Jwana Damanhouri is a Saudi who developed her culinary skills abroad and has worked in highly acclaimed Japanese restaurants in the Kingdom.

The kitchen name “Tanuki” was inspired by the Japanese breadcrumbs that add crunch to sushi rolls and texture to a host of Japanese food items.

Signature orders include maki rolls with tasty Japanese mayo and topped with crispy tanuki. Torched salmon maki and crispy California maki are also popular choices.

Tanuki offers selections from Japanese cuisine, such as kani salad, steamed edamame, gyoza, sushi bowls, hosomaki and uramaki, as well as a range of sushi burritos.

For those considering a large portion or inviting friends, the Tanuki combo box is a recommended option, with three rows of maki or sushi rolls of your choice, and six pieces of each type.

Diners on a diet can try a sushi bowl consisting of rice, vegetables and protein. The crab tanuki bowl is highly recommended.

Tanuki is available on many delivery applications. For more information visit the Instagram account

How the Red Sea Project aims to showcase Saudi Arabia’s culinary heritage

Updated 08 May 2022

How the Red Sea Project aims to showcase Saudi Arabia’s culinary heritage

  • Saudi chefs and the hospitality sector are using food to build bridges between nations and cultures
  • The Red Sea Development Company aims to open up the Kingdom’s culinary treasures to the world

DUBAI: The national cuisines of few countries can boast the variety of influences found in Saudi Arabian dishes, thanks to the remarkable assortment of flavors and ingredients introduced to the Kingdom over centuries by pilgrims, merchants and travelers.

The variety of traditional dishes that can be found across the country reflect these diverse cultural influences — from the likes of India, North and East Africa, South and Central Asia and the Levant — that enriched and seasoned the Kingdom’s traditions.

Now, Saudi chefs and the hospitality sector are once again using food to help build bridges between nations and cultures. One of the organizations that is embracing this art of “culinary diplomacy” is The Red Sea Development Company, which is managing the new tourism megaproject taking shape along the Kingdom’s Red Sea coast.

TRSDC CEO John Pagano with a group of Saudi hospitality students. (Supplied)

In line with the aims of Saudi Vision 2030, the nation’s strategy for economic diversification, TRSDC is working to stimulate new industries, create jobs, encourage entrepreneurism, and drive growth in the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors.

“At the moment our focus is to bring young Saudis into the hospitality industry,” Lars Eltvik, the company’s senior education adviser, told Arab News.

“This is a new industry to the Kingdom and there has been a very limited offering of hospitality and culinary education in the country before. It is not dissimilar to what used to be the case in Dubai, 20 years ago.”

The Red Sea Project is a plan for a sustainable tourism resort covering about 28,000 square kilometers along Saudi Arabia’s western coast, including more than 90 unspoiled islands. The 50 hotels and 1,300 residential properties that will be built there will be served by some of the Kingdom’s top restaurants, according to Eltvik.

“We want to be able to attract, document and develop food from all the regions of Saudi Arabia so that it can then be presented in luxury hotels across the Red Sea Project,” he said.

TRSDC is building partnerships with institutions across the Kingdom that were founded to preserve and promote Saudi cuisine. (Supplied/TRSDC)

Eltvik has worked in the hospitality sector and hospitality education for three decades. Between 2001 and 2009 he was based in Dubai, where he worked at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management.

He hopes that the success the sector has enjoyed in the UAE’s commercial capital can be replicated in Saudi Arabia on a shorter timescale and in a way that is more faithful to the nation’s cultural sensitivities.

“In Saudi Arabia, everything is on the fast track now,” said Eltvik. “We are working to achieve the same (as we achieved in Dubai), and more, but in a very compressed time frame. At TRSDC, we are looking to get on board tens of thousands of staff, with a strong focus on hospitality and, within the hospitality sector, a focus on the culinary arts.”

Saudi chefs and the hospitality sector are once again using food to help build bridges between nations and cultures. (Supplied/ZADK)

The company is working to promote the hospitality industry as a desirable career option for young Saudis, he said, in keeping with the government’s Saudization drive. To that end, education authorities in the Kingdom have implemented a number of programs in which TRSDC will sponsor trainees that will eventually fill essential roles in the sector, he added.

“We are focusing on the authenticity of enhancing tourism and hospitality through food in the Kingdom, and through the projection and education of young Saudis to proudly present their history and their past through the culinary experience,” Eltvik said.

There is a consensus that simply replicating the type of restaurants and cuisines that can be found in cities around the globe will not help to transform Saudi Arabia into the distinctive culinary destination that is envisioned. A focus on promoting the culinary arts and distinctly Saudi flavors are therefore clear priorities.


• The Red Sea Project is a 28,000 sq km sustainable-tourism resort due for completion by 2030.

• The Red Sea Development Company is expected to contribute $5.3 billion to national gross domestic product

While many traditional local dishes are common across the country — such as kabsa, which is made from rice, meat, vegetables and spices, and harees, an Arabian favorite comprised of ground wheat, meat and spices — the flavors, ingredients and cooking techniques can vary widely from one region to another.

The Red Sea port city of Jeddah has long attracted travelers from the region and the world, resulting in dishes replete with Persian, Levantine, Turkish, Maghrebi, and Central and South Asian influences.

In Hijaz, for example, the influences for popular dishes such as bukhari rice, manto (dumplings filled with beef and onion), shish barak (meat dumplings cooked in a yogurt-based stew), and kabli rice can be traced to Central and East Asia, while the origins of the vegetable-based stews that are popular in the region lie in North Africa and the Levant.

In the Kingdom’s central Najd plateau, meanwhile, the local cuisine includes heavier dishes such as soups, stews and sauces that better suit the area’s cooler climate.

“I created ZADK because I saw that in Saudi Arabia we were lacking an academy to learn about our cultural cuisine,” Rania Moualla said. (Supplied/ZADK)

In March, TRSDC appointed Lawrence Assadourian its culinary director with a mandate to work with Saudi chefs to create unique food options for regional and international visitors to enjoy, while also promoting local favorites.

“One of our missions is community development,” he told Arab News. “How are we, as a group, going to ensure that the Red Sea has a sense of place? (That) it is not just an experience replica of another destination in the world?

“And one of the ways we are looking to do that is to build the necessary programs that will incubate and accelerate Saudi-based chefs. We feel this is important because, long-term, the sustainability of talent should be driven by local people, to complement foreign talent.”

Sustainability is at the heart of what TRSDC is hoping to achieve as the Kingdom’s nascent tourism, leisure and hospitality industries set out to create offerings that are sensitive to local customs and in keeping with the environment.

“We are a regenerative tourism destination,” Assadourian said. “We care deeply about the environment and the integration of the communities in which we are building our projects.

“We need to ensure that we strike a strong balance between internationally experienced cuisine in our destination and how we infuse the culinary and cultural heritage of Saudi Arabia into the entire guest-experience journey.”

While many traditional local dishes are common across the country, the flavors, ingredients and cooking techniques can vary widely from one region to another. (Supplied/ZADK)

To achieve this, TRSDC is building partnerships with institutions across the Kingdom that were founded to preserve and promote Saudi cuisine.

Among those who welcome TRSDC’s mission to serve up the Kingdom’s culinary traditions to the world is Moe Inani, executive chef and co-owner of Chifty, a stylish restaurant and cosmopolitan lounge in Riyadh.

Although he is an engineer by training, Inani said his first love was cooking, a skill he picked up at an early age while helping his mother prepare meals at the family’s home in his native Jeddah.

After concluding his studies in the US, Inani became a sous-chef at Saison, a Michelin-starred restaurant in San Francisco where he learned to prepare sushi, and later for upmarket restaurants Nobu and Morimoto.

With his background in Japanese cuisine, Inani has created some novel twists on the more conventional local takes on Red Sea fish, and Arab News has learned that discussions are under way for him to collaborate with TRSDC.

“We want to be able to attract, document and develop food from all the regions of Saudi Arabia,” Lars Eltvik, senior education adviser with the Red Sea Development Company. (Supplied)

“Food has always united us,” Rania Moualla, a Saudi philanthropist and the founder and chair of ZADK, a nonprofit culinary academy in Al-Khobar in the Eastern Province, told Arab News.

The academy was founded in 2018, three years after Moualla published her cookbook, “A Spoonful of Home.” Its mission to nurture Saudi Arabia’s rich culinary heritage by empowering local chefs is similar to that of TRSDC, with which it has formed a partnership.

“I created ZADK because I saw that in Saudi Arabia we were lacking an academy to learn about our cultural cuisine,” Moualla said. “Most of our restaurants are in the hands of expats. I launched ZADK because I wanted to do something sustainable and with a higher impact for the community.”

She said the academy is looking at ways in which it can develop its partnership with TRSDC by helping to train the next generation of Saudi chefs.

“I am looking forward to having their students study at our academy,” Moualla said.

The Red Sea Project is a 28,000 sq km sustainable-tourism resort due for completion by 2030. (Supplied/TRSDC)

In so doing, ZADK, which also has a separate partnership agreement with Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland, aims to promote the Saudi gastronomical scene and ensure it meets international standards.

“Our mission is to develop the best culinary school in Saudi Arabia, make it a platform for social change and teach our cuisine in a way that enables students to learn international cuisines as well as Saudi cuisines,” Moualla said.

“We aim to allow our students to travel the world with Saudi cuisine and heritage.”

It is precisely this kind of culinary diplomacy that TRSDC aims to serve up for visitors to Saudi Arabia to savor and enjoy by 2030, when the Red Sea Project is due for completion.

Where We are Going Today: Blue Tok Tok in Riyadh

Updated 07 May 2022

Where We are Going Today: Blue Tok Tok in Riyadh

Blue Tok Tok is an Indian fast-food restaurant in Riyadh that captures the essence of the South Asian country’s authentic tastes and flavors in very sizable portions.
Located in Al-Nakheel district, the eatery is named after the three-wheeled auto rickshaws used for urban transport in India.
Indian food is in some ways similar to Arabic cuisine in being heavily dependent on fragrant rice and bread, and Blue Tok Tok offers colorful biryani and saffron rice made with aromatic spices, as well as fresh naan bread straight from the oven, items that have earned it rave reviews online.
The restaurant’s large but reasonably priced dishes include main courses such as chicken biryani for two to three people costing SR36 ($9.60), and lamb masala, garlic naan, and samosa at SR29 per person.
Chicken tikka, puri, tandoori, tikka masala, and butter are among the white meat options.
Most of the food is relatively mild to taste but customers can request extra spices. Dips are also available, and the tamarind chutney is recommended.
As well as restaurant dining, home delivery orders can be made via apps such as HungerStation, Jahez, and Lugmety.
For further details, visit Instagram at @bluetoktok.


What We Are Doing Today: Right Bite

Updated 04 May 2022

What We Are Doing Today: Right Bite

For those looking to eat delicious food while maintaining a low-calorie intake, look no further than Right Bite, the place where weight loss does not mean that you need to compromise on your favorite dishes.

Right Bite offers its customers myriad delectable and healthy meals from its menu, such as chicken quesadillas with brown bread. You can also opt for a meal plan tailored to fit your goals and lifestyle.

Some of the dishes in the weight loss meal plan include chicken biryani with Indian spices and saffron rice; a lean beef shawarma platter with roasted potatoes; Lebanese sayyadia, a dish made of lean fish and rice served with sesame paste and gravy; a homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a whole-wheat baguette; and shakshuka, Arabian style hard poached eggs on a bed of sautéed zucchini, spinach and leek with a side of whole wheat pita.

Right Bite promises to make healthy eating simple by delivering a weight loss meal plan that is balanced and calorie-controlled, designed to optimize your daily intake of nutrients and keep you mentally alert and physically charged.

Meal plans can be customized to meet your target weight and dietary preferences, and the restaurant also offers nutrition consultations with one of its specialists before choosing a plan.

After signing up for one of their meal plans, you can expect daily deliveries of your meals to your home or workplace. Currently, the restaurant is offering discounts on its packages, which include 20-day, 40-day and 60-day meal plans, ranging from SR1,679 ($448) to SR7,197 for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

The restaurant can be found on delivery apps like Jahez and HungerStation, while the meal plan subscription is currently offered only in Riyadh.