MDH: Severe lung damage in Twin Cities teens possibly related to vaping

The Minnesota Department of Health says there have now been four cases of severe lung injury in teens and young adults in the Twin Cities metro potentially related to vaping. 

Children’s Minnesota reported the cases, which involved both nicotine and marijuana-based products, to MDH. The symptoms in the cases resulted in hospitalizations lasting multiple weeks, with some patients being admitted to the intensive care unit. 

The patients exhibited symptoms including shortness of breath, fever, cough, vomiting and diarrhea, according to MDH. Some patients also reported headaches, dizziness and chest pain. 

Health officials said they are “deeply concerned” about the cases and say they can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can mimic a common infection. 

MDH is asking health care providers to be on alert for similar cases of severe lung injury and to report them. Clinicians are advised to ask patients to present pulmonary symptoms about tobacco and marijuana use, particularly vaping. 

The U.S. Surgeon General has called teen e-cigarette use an epidemic. The Food and Drug Administration recently issued a warning about e-cigarettes after receiving at least 127 reports of users experiencing seizures and other neurological symptoms.