LINCOLN – The first Nebraska death related to severe lung disease associated with e-cigarettes or vaping has been reported to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

The person was over 65 and from the Douglas County Health Department area, according to a press release. In addition to the death in Nebraska, there have been 12 deaths reported in 10 other states as part of a multi-state outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Prior to the outbreak of lung injury associated with vaping in Wisconsin and Illinois this past August, vaping-associated lung injuries were unreported and not tracked by public health agencies,” said Dr. Tom Safranek, State Epidemiologist for DHHS. “Once the problem was recognized, states quickly ramped up surveillance and found current cases, but have also discovered cases that occurred before the August outbreak.”

Public health officials said the death in Nebraska occurred in May.

Sign up for Kearney Hub daily news updates

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Nebraska currently has 11 cases of vaping-related illness and two under investigation. The majority are males. Age range is late teens to late 60s. Some of those affected were hospitalized.

DHHS has alerted Nebraska providers, advising them to consider vaping-related illness in patients presenting with respiratory symptoms and a history of vaping and to report those suspected cases to their local health department or DHHS. DHHS is working with local health departments, the CDC and other states to investigate and study any reported case to combine all findings at the national level to come up with a complete picture of this health problem.

While investigation of devices and products is ongoing, CDC has recommended the public consider not using e-cigarettes or vaping products, particularly those containing THC. Additionally, youth, young adults, and women who are pregnant should not use e-cigarettes or vaping products. 

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.