Health officials in Milwaukee have asked everyone in the city to stop “vaping” — that is, using electronic vaporizers — effective immediately after dozens of people have turned up in emergency rooms with lung ailments after doing so. Other people have gotten sick after so-called “dabbing,” which is heating a concentrated form of marijuana and inhaling the vapor.
As CNN reports, at least 16 people have turned up in Wisconsin hospitals with “chemical pneumonia,” a lung disease brought on by inhaling certain chemicals. The common thread in the reported illnesses seems to be the inhalation of vapor, whether by “vaping” nicotine or cannabis.
Thomas Haupt of Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services says that health officials are still trying to piece together what happened.
“The only thing at this point is vaping, but we don’t know what they vaped, where they got their vaping liquids. All this needs to be determined at this point,” Haupt said.
For weeks, patients have been turning up in emergency rooms in the Midwest and, in a handful of isolated cases, outside of the Midwest, with breathing problems brought on by vaping. The situation first come to the notice of health officials in early August. As reported at the time by The Inquisitr, young people starting turning up in emergency rooms in the east side of the area where Illinois and Wisconsin border.
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The patients reported difficulty breathing and chest pain, and they didn’t respond to conventional treatment. In some cases, they required assistance breathing in an intensive care unit.
Authorities were unable to determine what the cases had in common, such as where they purchased their nicotine oils or vaporizer devices from. Unfortunately, officials have not been able to link the cases together.
Since then, the problem has gotten worse. According to a follow-up report in The Inquisitr, four teenagers turned up in Minnesota emergency rooms after suffering breathing problems from vaping. Sickened individuals started turning up in emergency rooms in Ohio and Iowa. Outside of the Midwest, two cases of vaping-related lung ailments have turned up in Connecticut, as of this writing.
So far, at least one person appears to have died from a vaping-related illness. As reported by The Inquisitr, an Illinois patient died after suffering from a vaping-related illness. Illinois Department of Public Health director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement that the state is looking for help from the Centers for Disease Control in order to get to the bottom of the situation.