Health officials in Kansas have confirmed that a patient died of a severe lung illness related to vaping or using e-cigarettes, making it the sixth death nationwide.
The unidentified person was hospitalized with symptoms that progressed rapidly until their death, according to Kansas State Epidemiologist Dr. Farah Ahmed. That patient was over the age of 50 and had a history of underlying health issues.
Health officials do not have detailed information on what vape products were used by the person who died. However, most victims have reported a history of using vape products containing THC.
The fatality was the first in Kansas due to the outbreak. Five other deaths have been reported in California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Oregon.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has linked the outbreak of severe vape-related lung illnesses to 6 deaths and 380 probable cases in 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
While investigations continue, CDC is warning people to avoid vaping or using e-cigarettes. They also recommend that people with a history of vaping who are experiencing symptoms should seek medical care.
The symptoms are highly similar among cases nationwide — rapidly-worsening shortness of breath, fever, cough, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some patients also reported a headache, dizziness, or chest pain.