Vaping-related death reported in Kings County, second death in Valley

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Another vaping-related death has been reported in the Central Valley, this time in Kings County.

The Kings County Department of Public Health said a woman died from a severe lung injury.

Nancy Gerking with the department says like many, it started with symptoms similar to a common cold. The symptoms including shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, nausea, fever, vomiting or diarrhea.

RELATED: CDC urges Americans to stop vaping as they investigate related lung illnesses

So far, there have been 12 reports of vaping related lung illnesses in Kings County alone. But this is the first death for the county and the second for the Valley.

The first was confirmed in September in Tulare County. Nationwide more than1,000 cases have been reported, the death toll now close to 20.

RELATED: E-cigarette-related death reported in Tulare County

"Keep in mind that just because there are so few, it doesn't matter, it could be you," Gerkings said.

Some of the dangers are posed by how products are advertised. Gerking says flavored vaping cartridges are often designed to appeal to younger audiences.

Examples provided by the health department show some packaging resembles children's cereal, while others are reminiscent of the popular video game, Fortnite.

"The younger lungs are underdeveloped still, so you have to look at the long term damages," Gerking said.

In the white house, President Donald Trump introduced a plan to end the sale of flavored e-cigarette products.

The action also being taken in California through a stop vaping advisory and a multi-million dollar vaping awareness initiative.

Locally, several school districts are doing their part through ad campaigns, including Fresno Unified.

Anyone experiencing vaping related illnesses is encouraged to immediately seek medical attention. You are also urged to let your doctor know about your e-cigarette history.
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