City of Milwaukee officials are warning residents to immediately stop vaping after 16 people in the state were hospitalized with a rare form of pneumonia. All patients had reported vaping or dabbing before falling ill. Dabbing is the inhaling of dab, which is cannabis concentrate vapor.
Ten counties in the state have reported respiratory illnesses in patients who had recently vaped or dabbed. Another 15 cases are being investigated for possible links to vaping, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said.
Symptoms generally start with cough, shortness of breath, fatigue and fever. But health officials said that some individuals presented with more severe symptoms such as anorexia and chest pain that got worse, leading to acute respiratory distress and requiring hospitalization.
Milwaukee’s announcement comes a week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 193 cases of respiratory illnesses in 22 states, including one death in Illinois with a suspected connection to vaping. Several of the patients who were sickened were placed on ventilators or other life-saving machines.
As of yet, no particular vaping device or vape juice has been identified as the culprit, the CDC said. Many of those who became ill said they used vape products that contained THC, the psychoactive substance in marijuana.
“The only thing at this point is vaping,” Thomas Haupt, a respiratory disease epidemiologist with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, told CNN. “But we don’t know what they vaped, where they got their vaping liquids. All this needs to be determined at this point.”
Beasley Allen lawyers Joseph VanZandt and Sydney Everett are currently representing several individuals who are suing JUUL for the negative impact its products have had on their lives. Most of the plaintiffs became addicted to JUUL as minors and some of them have started smoking regular cigarettes to satisfy their nicotine addiction when JUUL pods aren’t accessible.