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16 more confirmed cases of severe bleeding linked to K2 in WI


MILWAUKEE — The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) on Tuesday, Sept. 18 confirmed 16 more cases of severe bleeding linked to K2 containing rat poison in Wisconsin. The total number of cases is now 80 — with confirmed cases in Dane, Fond du Lac, Milwaukee, Outagamie and Rock counties.

DHS officials said the victims have ranged in age from 16 to over 50.

There has been one death in Wisconsin associated with this outbreak.

Since March, DHS has been investigating an outbreak of severe bleeding in people who have used synthetic cannabinioids, commonly called “fake weed,” “K2” or “spice,” among other names. Through the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the products contained brodifacoum, a chemical used in rat poison.

People who have used synthetic cannabinoids and experience unexplained bleeding, such as a nosebleed, bleeding gums, or bruising, should call 911 or go to an emergency department right away.

This product can stay in a person’s system for months and bleeding could happen at any time.

DHS officials noted these products are not legal in Wisconsin and they should not be confused with marijuana or cannabidiol (CBD).

Synthetic cannabinoids are typically sprayed onto dried plant material and smoked, but can also be mixed into a liquid and vaped in e-cigarettes or other vaping devices.

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