6th vaping death confirmed; source of illnesses still unknown

Kansas health officials on Sept. 10 confirmed the state's first death in a string of mysterious lung illness linked to vaping, reports The Washington Post.

The new case brings the national death count to six. Previous deaths have occurred in California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Oregon.

The Kansas patient was over age 50 and had underlying health issues, according to Kansas State Epidemiologist Farah Ahmed, PhD. The state has seen six probable and confirmed lung illnesses.

Nationwide, the CDC and FDA are investigating more than 450 possible cases in 33 states. Officials have yet to identify a specific product involved in all cases, though many patients said they used vaping products containing marijuana prior to their hospitalization.

Health officials did find a common chemical — vitamin E acetate — in samples of patients' vaping products. However, the CDC says it's still too early to confirm this chemical as the definitive source of the illnesses.

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