WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Public health officials have confirmed the first vaping- related death in Wichita County.
“We’ve had four cases that have been reported that have been probable,” Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District Director of Health Lou Kreidler said.
As the number of vaping-related deaths in the state continues to rise, Wichita County has now been added to the list.
“This is the first death in an individual who was identified as a probable case from vaping or e-cigarette related lung injury,” Kreidler said.
A little more than six weeks after health officials reported the first pediatric flu-related death of the season in Wichita County, they now confirm a male in his thirties has died due to e-cigarette, or vaping product use-associated lung injury, also known as EVALI.
Kreidler and Nurse Practitioner April Williams urge Texomans to stay clear of the device and its substances.
“A majority of the cases reported across the state and the united state have been from those individuals who are been using THC in the devices that they are using to vape with,” Kreidler said.
“The vaping chemicals it is turning into a Formaldehyde type of chemical and it is being absorbed in the respiratory tract and that is causing a lot of lung damage lung cancer,” Williams said.
The Texas Department of State Health Services said this is the fourth EVALI death in the state since October, even more concerning 54% of the confirmed or probable cases have occurred in North Texas.
Health officials said the cases are not just seen in folks with underlying health issues.
“A lot of EVALI cases have been in teenagers and so those individuals are usually seen as healthy individuals and so there are serious health risks associated with vaping.
“The fruity type ones that’s where most of the chemicals are that’s got the Formaldehyde products and so parents need to be aware of that,” Williams said.
Both Kreidler and Williams want the public to recognize the serious health risks associated with vaping.
Other reported deaths in the state were in Galveston, Dallas and an unnamed county in North Texas.