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Death Could Be Nation's First Connected to Vaping

Number of possible cases is rising quickly
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2019 5:00 PM CDT
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A high school principal displays vaping devices that were confiscated from students.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(Newser) – A death in Illinois announced Friday by health officials could be the first in the nation connected to the use of e-cigarettes. The adult patient had vaped and was later hospitalized with severe respiratory illness, Fox News reports. No other information about the patient was released. "The severity of illness people are experiencing is alarming and we must get the word out that using e-cigarettes and vaping can be dangerous," the state's public health director said in a statement. The agency said the number of cases of possible or confirmed respiratory illness developed after vaping has doubled to 22 in the past week, per CNN. Another 12 people have shown symptoms, including a cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is helping to investigate the Illinois cases.

In Utah, a 31-year-old man with lipoid pneumonia has been placed on life support, per WCVB. His doctors blame vaping, his wife said. The CDC said Friday that it knows of 193 people in 22 states who could have severe lung disease caused by vaping. That's up from the 153 possible cases in 16 states that it knew of on Wednesday. A connection to vaping hasn't been proven, and it's not clear yet "if these cases have a common cause or if they are different diseases with similar symptoms," the Illinois Health Department said. The FDA has joined the investigation to identify products used by patients, and the CDC has asked doctors to report cases of patients with respiratory illnesses that could be tied to vaping. (A new study examined the effects of vaping.)

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