Wisconsin DHS: 11 teens, young adults hospitalized with severe lung disease linked to vaping

Vaping (Getty Images)

MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has received 11 cases of teenagers and young adults hospitalized with severe lung disease that has been linked to vaping, according to a news release issued Friday, Aug. 2. According to the DHS, seven other cases are under further investigation.

Counties with confirmed cases include Door, Racine, Walworth, Dodge, Waukesha, and Winnebago.

“We are currently interviewing patients, all of whom reported recent vaping,” said Andrea Palm, DHS secretary-designee, in the release. “Our disease investigators continue to gather information about the names and types of vape products that were used in hopes of determining a common link. We strongly urge people to avoid vaping products and e-cigarettes. Anyone—especially young people who have recently vaped—experiencing unexplained breathing problems should see a doctor.”

Palm and Chuck Warzecha, deputy administrator of the DHS Division of Public Health, scheduled a Facebook chat for 2 p.m. Friday, with experts available to answer your questions about the illness and vaping. CLICK HERE to access that video.

According to the DHS release, these patients experienced shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, cough, and weight loss.

The severity of the disease has varied among patients, with some needing assistance to breathe. While patients have improved with treatment, it is not known if there will be long-term health effects.  People should contact their doctor or local or tribal public health offices with any concerns about these symptoms.

This is an ongoing investigation, and DHS is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local health care providers, and is coordinating with other states to make them aware of the situation so they are prepared if they have reports of similar cases.

People can learn more about e-cigarettes and vaping products, including what they look like and how to talk to kids about them, by CLICKING HERE.

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