DENVER — Colorado health officials have sent a notice to physicians and emergency rooms across the state, warning them to be on the lookout for a mystery vaping illness that’s hospitalized dozens across the nation.
At least 100 people in more than 12 states have fallen seriously ill with lung complications. The only thing linking the cases is that the patients all reported vaping nicotine or THC before experiencing symptoms.
Wednesday night, the Colorado department of Public Health and Environment told FOX31 it’s investigating a suspected case in Colorado, which would be the state’s first.
“We don’t have a confirmed case,” said Dr. Tista Ghosh. “But we have a case we suspect might be linked.”
Ghosh is the chief medical officer for the CDPHE and says her team has been monitoring this for days.
“It is a big deal in that we’re trying to be sure that we’re not missing anything,” she said. “A lot of these cases are seriously ill, hospitalized, on respirators. They’re not breathing on their own.”
Studies show Colorado has the highest prevalence of teen vaping in the entire country, with one out of every three high school seniors admitting to using vaping products.
“Parents need to be aware that vaping is a major issue among teenagers in our state,” said Ghosh.
CDPHE would not comment on where in Colorado that suspected case is or reveal the patient’s age.
So far, cases have been reported in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.
In many cases, patients have had difficulty breathing before being hospitalized.
There are no known deaths at this time.