The individual, who recently vaped, has died after being hospitalized with a severe respiratory illness, the Illinois Department of Public Health said.

Officials did not release the name of the patient who passed away, but this news follows on the heels of reports of multiple hospitalizations potentially linked to vaping and warnings from health officials.

So far this year a total of 22 people, ranging in age from 17-38 years old, have "experienced respiratory illness after using e-cigarettes or vaping," IDPH said.

"The severity of illness people are experiencing is alarming and we must get the word out that using e-cigarettes and vaping can be dangerous," said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. "We requested a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help us investigate these cases and they arrived in Illinois on Tuesday."

Cases have been reported in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, Peoria, St. Clair, and Will counties -- including Chicago and Champaign.
"At this time here in Illinois we do not know what is contributing to this respiratory illness." Layden said. "The common link among our 22 cases is all individuals have reported history of recent vaping or use of electronic devices."

Symptoms of respiratory illness include cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Some patients also said they experienced vomiting and diarrhea.

According to the IDPH, the CDC said they have found that several patients have acknowledged to health care personnel that they used THC-containing products.

The American Vaping Association had this to say:

"Each day of this crisis brings more evidence that street vapes containing THC or other illegal drugs are responsible for these illnesses, not nicotine vaping products...We continue to call on the CDC and FDA to not only promptly investigate these incidents, but also act to ensure that adult smokers know that nicotine vaping products remain a far safer alternative to smoking."


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