Ill. Dept. of Health: 2nd resident dies after vaping-related lung injury

Ill. Dept. of Health: 2nd resident dies after vaping-related lung injury
IDPH is working with area health departments to investigate another 41 possible cases. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - The Illinois Department of Health is reporting the death of a second person who had recently vaped and been hospitalized with a severe lung injury.

Currently, the Department said a total of 153 people in Illinois, ranging from 13 years old to 66 years old, with a median age of 22, have experienced lung injuries after using e-cigarettes or vaping.

IDPH is working with area health departments to investigate another 41 possible cases. Affected individuals have experienced respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath and fatigue. Many have also experienced gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Symptoms worsened over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital.

According to IDPH, more than 80 percent of the cases in Illinois report recent use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing products, primarily getting them from informal sources such as friends or on the street. Additionally, almost half have also used nicotine-based products.

IDPH has submitted 54 products and devices to the FDA for testing since August and has received preliminary results for 17 samples. Initial results from the FDA for Illinois are similar to information previously reported nationwide.

Of the samples submitted, the IDPH says vitamin E acetate was found in two of the samples with THC. The FDA continues to perform additional testing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention arrived in Illinois on August 20 to assist with the investigation. IDPH is also working with area health departments, other state health departments and the Food and Drug Administration to investigate the names and types of e-cigarettes, vaping products and devices, as well as where they were obtained.

At this time, health officials have not identified the cause or causes of the lung injuries with the only commonality among all cases being patients report the use of vaping products, including e-cigarettes. According to IDPH, no one device, compound or ingredient has emerged as the cause of these illnesses to date; and it may be that there is more than one cause of this lung injury.

Cases have been reported in 33 counties statewide.

In order to protect the identity of the affected individuals, additional information is not being provided. The investigation is ongoing, and more information will be shared as it becomes available.

People who experience any type of chest pain or difficulty breaking after using e-cigarettes or vaping should seek immediate medical attention. When seeking medical attention, be sure to tell the provider you have vaped in recent weeks or months. Health care providers caring for patients with unexpected serious respiratory illness should ask about a history of vaping or e-cigarette use.

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