The Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed another death related to severe lung injury related to vaping. Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike says that IDPH still doesn’t know what is causing the severe injuries to the lungs from the vaping process to cause the fatalities. “We know that we have very serious lung injuries in people that should not have had such severe lung injuries, ” Ezike said, “The only commonality among all of the cases in Illinois and nationwide is the vaping history.”
Ezike says that more than 80% of the cases in Illinois have dealt with a person who has vaped a THC product purchased through friends or street sources. 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, vitamin E acetate was found in two of the samples with THC.
Symptoms of the severe lung injury caused by vaping these products include cough, shortness of breath, and extreme fatigue. Many people are also experiencing vomiting and diarrhea. 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 in Illinois. The CDC arrived in Illinois on August 20th to assist IDPH with the ongoing investigation into the problem.