RICHMOND, Va. - A Virginia resident has died in the outbreak of severe lung injury associated with e-cigarette use, or "vaping," the Virginia Department of Health announced Tuesday.
The death was reported by Cone Health in Greensboro, North Carolina, on September 26.
“I am deeply saddened to announce the first death of a Virginia resident related to this outbreak. Our thoughts are with the family during this difficult time,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA.
The victim was an adult from the southwest region. VDH will not release additional details surrounding the person's death to protect patient confidentiality.
As of September 30, health officials say there have been 31 cases of lung injury, including this person's death, in Virginia. Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 805 cases from 46 states and one U.S. territory as of September 24.
Twelve other deaths have been confirmed in 10 states, according to VDH.
At this time, the cause of the outbreak is unknown.
VDH recommends that people who are concerned about lung injuries associated with e-cigarette use or vaping refrain from using e-cigarette products. Regardless of the ongoing investigation, health officials say those who use e-cigarette products should not buy these products off the street or add any substances that are not intended by the manufacturer.
Click here for more information on vaping and lung illness in Virginia.