Majority of WI vaping illness cases report inhaling THC products

Published: Aug. 30, 2019 at 4:05 PM CDT
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Across the country there are 215 reported cases of vaping related illness. In Wisconsin, there are 27 reported cases in 14 different counties, including Dane, Sauk, Dodge, and Green.

Dr. Jon Meiman, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Chief Medical Officer, says the statistics are cause for concern.

“We’re seeing very young people who are coming to the hospital after having days or weeks of symptoms, getting fairly ill and needing sometimes intensive care treatment at a hospital,” Dr. Meiman said.

Further investigation shows 89 percent of the cases in the state had patients report using an e-cigarette to inhale a THC product.

“While it’s too early to say for sure the cause of the illness, we think it’s of sufficient concern to warn the public to stay away from these products because we don’t know what could be in them,” said Dr. Meiman.

THC is the active ingredient in marijuana. Officials say cartridges could contain chemicals or other additives that are unregulated or unsafe.

Meiman says health officials are seeing something not yet seen before in the state.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done when it comes to understanding what’s in these products and understanding what the health impacts could be on people,” he added.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has launched and extensive investigation.

Symptoms can start days or weeks in advance and include fever, chills, shortness of breath, chest pain, and vomiting.

To learn more about the reported cases in Wisconsin, click