Vaping-related lung disease cases surge to nearly 300 nationwide

At least 298 people have been hospitalized nationwide with severe lung disease apparently related to vaping.

The new number — a more than 50 percent jump from what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last Friday — is the result of data collected from state health departments by NBC News.

And now the health department in Milwaukee is taking the bold step of telling its residents in a health alert to stop using any kind of vaping device — immediately.

The department cites 16 people in Wisconsin who have been diagnosed with what health officials there are calling “severe chemical pneumonia” after vaping either nicotine or marijuana oils, extracts or concentrates.

Another 15 cases in that state are under investigation. There has been no single product or device linking all of the cases either in Wisconsin or in the 22 other states looking into cases.

The states with cases either confirmed or under investigation: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

One person in Illinois has died.

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