The Minnesota Department of Health said it’s unclear whether these cases are somehow connected. While officials said they don’t yet know the exact products used, both nicotine and marijuana products have been reported.
The announcement said some were hospitalized for “multiple weeks, with some patients being admitted to the intensive care unit.” They came in with symptoms including shortness of breath, fever, cough, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness and chest pain.
Dr. Emily Chapman, chief medical officer at Children’s Minnesota, which reported the four cases, said in a statement that such cases are tricky to diagnose because they can start off looking like a common infection before leading to more serious complications.
Cases in Wisconsin and Illinois
In Wisconsin, health officials are still investigating increasing reports of people with severe lung disease who say they’ve recently vaped or “dabbed,” which involves inhaling marijuana products.
As of August 8, there are 12 confirmed cases and 13 more under investigation in the state. These latest numbers now include “older age groups,” whereas previously they had only received reports of teens and young adults.
The department said it’s working with local health departments, other states, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the US Food and Drug Administration to look into which vaping products were used and where they were obtained.
“Without this information, we have been unable to conclusively determine which chemicals the individuals may have been exposed to,” the department said.
‘Otherwise normally healthy’
The lung disease initially looked like it was caused by an infection, “but every test has come back completely negative,” Haupt said.
Wisconsin’s cases were largely in the southeastern part of the state, Haupt said. This borders the northeastern part of Illinois, where the state’s initial patients were hospitalized.
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, previously told CNN that her team has many unanswered questions but has “talked to people from Wisconsin” and is gathering data and running tests. A number of cases occurred in people with “no known lung problems or previously diagnosed pulmonary issues,” Ezike said.
CNN’s Arman Azad contributed to this report.