At least six young people have been hospitalized for severe breathing problems after vaping, prompting an alert from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The department warned Friday that the number of hospitalizations potentially tied to vaping was increasing, with six reported cases and five others being investigated.
The six youths hospitalized experienced coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue, with some also experiencing vomiting and diarrhea, according to health officials.
“While the short- and long-term effects of vaping are still being researched, these recent hospitalizations heighten the need for parents talk with their teens about vaping and for both to understand the consequences and potential dangers of vaping,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, IDPH director, said in a statement.
The department is working with other local health departments, health departments in other states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Adminsitration to investigate the vaping products the hospitalized youths used and where they were from.
Ezike said vaping among teens has increased dramatically over the last several years.
On Friday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 11 confirmed and seven suspected cases of severe pulmonary disease among adolescents, who reported vaping.
Similarly, the Indiana State Department of Health sent an advisory last week to Indiana hospitals and other health care providers after the states of Illinois and Wisconsin reported that numerous teenagers and young adults were hospitalized with severe respiratory illnesses.
Minnesota health officials also reported severe lung damage among young people tied to vaping, with Children's Minnesota finding four cases of lung injury in the Minneapolis area, according to NBC affiliate Kare 11.
IDPH urged those experiencing difficulty breathing or chest pain after vaping to seek medical attention immediately.