Illinois has recorded its third death that authorities say may be tied to vaping.
The Department of Public Health said Thursday that the resident had recently vaped and been hospitalized with a severe lung injury.
“At this time, a total of 166 people in Illinois, ranging in age from 13 to 75 years old, with a median age of 22, have experienced lung injuries after using e-cigarettes or vaping,” the department said in a release. “IDPH continues to work with local health departments to investigate another 42 possible cases in Illinois.”
The department said victims have experienced respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue with some also having gastrointestinal symptoms.
“The unfortunate death of a third Illinois resident underscores the seriousness of these lung injuries,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. “New cases continue to be reported in Illinois and across the country. IDPH is urging Illinoisans not to vape or use e-cigarette products, especially illicit THC based products, while we continue to investigate this outbreak.”
There has yet to be one substance found in any tests that authorities can point to as the culprit but some are suggesting that illicitly-obtained products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) play a major role in the outbreak.
Cases have been reported in 32 Illinois counties.