6th person in US dies from lung illness | News Coverage from USA

6th person in US dies from lung illness

Doug Stanglin

USA TODAY

Published 9:50 AM EDT Sep 11, 2019

A 50-year-old Kansan is the sixth person nationally to die of vaping-related lung illness, according to state health authorities.

Five previous vaping-related deaths have been confirmed in California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Oregon.

Kansas State Epidemiologist Dr. Farah Ahmed said in a statement that the unidentified patient had a history of underlying health issues and had been hospitalized with symptoms that progressed rapidly.

The fatality was the first in Kansas associated with with an outbreak of serious lung disease related to vaping or using e-cigarettes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vaping lung illness: What we know about the recent spate of cases and deaths

Kansas health officials also noted six more cases associated with the outbreak — three patients classified as confirmed or probable cases and three cases still under investigation.

“It is time to stop vaping,” said Lee Norman, Kansas state health officer and secretary for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

With the Kansas fatality, the CDC is reporting six deaths and more than 450 possible cases of severe lung injury in 33 states and one jurisdiction.

Read this: Melania Trump tweets she is ‘deeply concerned’ about youth vaping

The CDC has confirmed that investigators have narrowed their focus and that the additive vitamin E acetate is a chemical involved in many of the cases, but emphasized it is not in all of the cases being reviewed.

Vitamin E acetate is a “sticky greasy oil” that some marijuana includes, said Devin Alvarez, CEO and founder of Straight Hemp CBD products. “Not all oils are the same. Thick and greasy seem to be the culprits.” 

While investigations into these cases continue, the CDC is recommending people avoid vaping or using e-cigarettes.

Also, people with a history of vaping who are experiencing lung injury symptoms should seek medical care, according to  Kansas health officials. 

Nationally, symptoms among cases included shortness of breath, fever, cough and vomiting and diarrhea.

Other symptoms reported by some patients included headache, dizziness and chest pain, the Kansas health authorities said.

Contributing: Jayne O’Donnell, USA TODAY


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