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Illinois resident dies when experiencing respiratory illness after vaping

SPRINGFIELD (WEEK) — A person who was hospitalized after recently vaping has died, according to the Illinois Department of Health.

The IDPH announced Friday morning the person recently vaped before being hospitalized with severe respiratory illness.

The IDPH added the number of hospitalizations from those who recently vaped has doubled in the past week. In all, 22 people hospitalized from ages 17-38 have experienced respiratory illness after using e-cigarettes or vaping.

“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,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike sai. “We requested a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help us investigate these cases and they arrived in Illinois on Tuesday (Aug 20).”

According to the CDC, in many cases, including Illinois, patients have acknowledged to health care personnel recent use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing products. However, no specific product has been identified in all cases, nor has any product been conclusively linked to illnesses.

Even though cases appear similar, it is not clear if these cases have a common cause or if they are different diseases with similar symptoms.

Cases have been reported in Chicago and Champaign, Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, Peoria, St. Clair, and Will counties. 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 is available.

People who experience any type of chest pain or difficulty breathing after using e-cigarettes or vaping in the weeks or months prior to these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention. Health care providers caring for patients with unexpected serious respiratory illness should ask about a history of vaping or e-cigarette use.

Drew Veskauf

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