The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said in an Aug. 9 warning that it has received at least six reports of “young people experiencing severe breathing problems after vaping.” It’s also investigating five additional cases.
“These individuals experienced respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath and fatigue. Some also experienced vomiting and diarrhea,” the IDPH said. “Symptoms worsened over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital.”
Officials said the cases occured in the northeastern part of Illinois as well as in the St. Louis Metro East area of the state. The patients were not identified.
“IDPH is working with local health departments and hospitals to investigate reported cases of hospitalized individuals with unexplained respiratory illness and a history of vaping,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “The short- and long-term effects of vaping are still being researched, but these recent hospitalizations have shown that there is the potential for immediate health consequences.”
The news comes after a hospital in Wisconsin alerted the state’s health department after recording eight cases of teens who were hospitalized with “seriously damaged lungs” and had all reported vaping in the weeks and months prior to needing treatment.
Separately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced last week it’s investigating 127 reports of seizures occurring after electronic cigarette use.
The FDA says 3.62 million middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes in 2018, a noted 78 percent increase among high school students from 2017 and a 48 percent increase among middle schoolers.
Fox News’ Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.