"The severity of illness people are experiencing is alarming and we must get the word out that using e-cigarettes and vaping can be unsafe", said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.
A person in IL who vaped has died after being hospitalized with severe respiratory illness, the state's health authorities said on Friday, amid reports that dozens of people had been sickened with lung problems linked to vaping. A team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) arrived in IL on Tuesday to help the department investigate the cases, Ezike added.
The release also says the number of people who have experienced respiratory illness after vaping doubled to 22 in the past week.
The Department of State Health Services is urging doctors in Texas to ask patients with respiratory problems - like cough, shortness of breath and fatigue - about their e-cigarette use.
"We are asking health care providers to look out for cases of severe respiratory illness among teenagers and young adults, and ask about recent vaping and e-cigarette use", Pedati said in the news release.
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This announcement comes after the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there were 150 potential cases of severe lung disease in 15 states. Other symptoms may include fever, chest pain, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Alabama has no cases but the CDC said it is investigating numerous other reports.
Some of those patients required weeks-long hospital stays and even treatment in intensive care.
Besides nicotine, e-cigarette aerosol that users breathe in can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including cancer-causing chemicals.
Individuals who have recently vaped and are having difficulty breathing should seek medical attention immediately.