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State Health Officials Confirm New Cases Of Vaping-Related Lung Disease

Cases Reported In Dodge, Door, Kenosha, Racine, Walworth, Waukesha, Winnebago Counties

a man smokes an electronic cigarette
In this April 23, 2014 photo, a man smokes an electronic cigarette in Chicago. Nam Y. Huh/AP Photo

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is investigating multiple patients with a severe lung disease. The disease is tied to people who reported using e-cigarettes or vape pens.

Health officials have confirmed 12 cases of the vaping-related lung disease and 13 other cases are currently under investigation.

DHS released a statement Thursday, confirming their investigation.

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Doctors in Dodge, Door, Racine, Walworth, Waukesha, and Winnebago counties have confirmed cases. Patients with the disease have experienced shortness of breath, weight loss, fever, fatigue, cough and chest pain.

Doug Jorenby, the director of clinical cervices for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Tobacco Research, says the cases are unusual and it might be difficult to find out what products the patients used.

“Not only that, we don’t know a lot about what the people who were affected were doing but what they were actually using at the time as well,” he said.

Officials say the disease has varied among patients from teens to adults. Eight teens and young adults in the state were hospitalized last month with the severe lung injuries. The additional cases, reported this month include older adults.

Thomas Haupt of the Wisconsin DHS says the symptoms are uncommon for healthy people who vape.

“This is something brand new … Even in the literature there has been cases, like single cases, that have been diagnosed but nothing as far as an kind of cluster like this,” he said.

The new cases include those who vaped marijuana oils, extracts and concentrates.