Officials from Illinois said Friday that a person who had recently used an e-cigarette and was hospitalized with a serious lung disease had died.
Death appears to be the first of a series of mysterious lung diseases currently being investigated by the state and federal health authorities in connection with vaping – at least 193 cases in 22 states, many of them teenagers and young adults, according to centers for control and disease prevention.
It has been reported that the number of people hospitalized for vapor-related lung disease has doubled in the past week. At least 22 people, aged 17 to 38, have respiratory problems after using e-cigarettes or vaping.
State officials work with local health departments to investigate another 1
The individuals affected had symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue, officials said. Some also had vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms worsened over a period of days or weeks before being hospitalized.
Illinois officials said the death was from an adult who died that month but did not provide any details about the person or device or product used.  While some of the cases look similar, officials said they did not know if the diseases were related to the e-cigarette devices themselves or to certain ingredients or contaminants inhaled by them.
Health officials said patients had described steaming A variety of substances, including nicotine, marijuana-based products and home improvement products.
In many cases reported across the country, including in Illinois, patients have confirmed the use of products containing THC, the main ingredient that produces high levels of marijuana, officials said. In all cases, neither a specific product was identified nor was any product associated with disease.
Even if the cases look similar, it is not clear if all of these cases have a common cause or if they are different diseases with similar symptoms.
Officials said on Friday they did not know why a wave of diseases is emerging now for more than a decade, there are various forms of battery-operated e-cigarette devices. Brian King, deputy director of research translation at the CDC's Office of Smoking and Health, said cases may have occurred earlier, "but we did not necessarily catch them".
The substances in e-cigarette aerosol may contain ingredients that are potentially harmful to lung health, he said. These include ultrafine particles and flavorings such as diacetyl, which have been associated with respiratory diseases.
Mitch Zeller, director of the Center for Tobacco Products at the Food and Drug Administration, said the agency is working to identify the products used. where they were bought, how they were used, and whether other connections were added.
"This information needs to be strung together for each of these cases to determine if patterns are occurring," he said.
Health officials say that people who suffer from chest pain or breathing difficulties in the weeks or months prior to these symptoms should consult a doctor immediately. In the past, there were fumes or the use of e-cigarettes.
Officials urge people suffering from such symptoms to report to the FDA Safety Reporting Portal. Even so, e-cigarettes have become increasingly popular over the past decade, with little research on their long-term effects.
In recent years, health authorities have warned of an epidemic of teenage vapors. Millions of Americans use e-cigarettes, affecting most young adults.
In 2018, more than 3.6 million US middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes in the last 30 days, according to the CDC. Leading brand Juul states that it monitors disease reports and has "robust security monitoring systems".
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