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Minnesota health officials confirm first death in state linked to vaping

ROCHESTER, Minn (KTTC) — The Minnesota Department of Health has confirmed the first death in the state caused by lung injury linked to vaping.

The patient was a 65-year-old man who died in August after “a long and complicated hospitalization,” the department said.

He reportedly had a history of underlying lung disease and was hospitalized with a severe lung injury that progressed to include other conditions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that more than 450 potential or confirmed cases of severe lung injury have been reported in 33 states. The CDC said many of these cases reported using cannabinoid products, such as THC.

The Department of Health said investigators looked into the case after the patient died and found that the lung injury was associated with vaping illicit THC products.

“One death from this outbreak is one death too many,” Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said. “We are working with our partners around the state and the nation to find out everything we can as quickly as we can to prevent additional illnesses and deaths.”

The CDC has also reported deaths in Illinois, Oregon and Indiana linked to vaping.

Minnesota has seen 17 patients who have been classified as confirmed or probable cases and 15 more potential cases are under investigation, the Department of Health said.

The Department of Health asks that people who experience avoid using e-cigarettes and other vaping products.

READ MORE: KTTC spoke with Mayo pulmonary doctors and the MN Department of Health health risks associated with vaping.


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