Minnesota health officials identified four cases of persons suffering severe lung injuries believed to be connected with their vaping, similar to more cases in nearby Wisconsin and Illinois. While officials said they don’t yet know the exact products used, both nicotine and marijuana products have been reported. “There are still many unanswered questions, but the health harms emerging from the current epidemic of youth vaping in Minnesota continue to increase,” the department’s medical director and state epidemiologist, Dr. Ruth Lynfield, said in a statement Tuesday. “We are encouraging providers and parents to be on the look-out for vaping as a cause for unexplained breathing problems and lung injury and disease.”
The announcement said some were hospitalized for “multiple weeks, with some patients being admitted to the intensive care unit.” They came in with symptoms including shortness of breath, fever, cough, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness and chest pain. Dr. Emily Chapman, chief medical officer at Children’s Minnesota, which reported the four cases, said in a statement that such cases are tricky to diagnose because they can start off looking like a common infection before leading to more serious complications.