Kansas reports first death from lung disease linked to vaping

Posted: Updated:
TOPEKA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Kansas health officials have confirmed the first death in the state associated with an outbreak of serious lung disease related to vaping or using e-cigarettes.

The state Department of Health and Environment said in a release Tuesday that the recent death was a Kansas resident over the age of 50. The person's identity was not released. 

"According to Kansas State Epidemiologist Dr. Farah Ahmed, the patient had a history of underlying health issues and was hospitalized with symptoms that progressed rapidly," the release said.

Officials have now identified about 450 possible cases, including as many as six deaths, in 33 states. 

(MORE: US health officials report new vaping deaths, repeat warning)

A national investigation has not identified specific vaping or e-cigarette products linked to all cases. Many patients report using vaping or e-cigarette products with liquids that contain cannabinoid products, such as tetrahydrocannabinol.

Kansas health officials don't have detailed information on what types of products were used by the person who died.

“Our sympathies go out to the family of the person who died,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Health officials are working hard to determine a cause and share information to prevent additional injuries. As that work continues, I urge Kansans to be careful. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way, and please follow the recommendations of public health officials.”

To date, Kansas has six reports associated with the outbreak. Three patients have been classified as confirmed or probable cases and three cases are still under investigation.

The CDC is recommending people avoid vaping or using e-cigarettes. Also, people with a history of vaping who are experiencing lung injury symptoms should seek medical care.

Symptoms among cases included shortness of breath, fever, cough, and vomiting and diarrhea. Other symptoms reported by some patients included headache, dizziness and chest pain.

For individuals wanting more information on how to quit tobacco products, please call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE