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Tag Archive | "Illinois Department of Public Health"

Rodent poison in fake weed kills 2, more hospitalized


A pesticide used to kill rodents has been identified as the poison in fake weed that is causing uncontrolled bleeding in users.

Illinois reports 70 cases

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is alerting health care providers and Michigan residents about numerous cases of people in Illinois suffering from persistent and severe bleeding due to the suspected use of synthetic marijuana containing brodifacoum.

Brodifacoum has been identified as the cause of 70 cases of uncontrolled bleeding reported between March 7 and April 2 being investigated by the Illinois Department of Public Health. This has included 60 hospitalizations and two deaths.

Brodifacoum is an off-white, odorless powder poison. It was first introduced in 1975 to eliminate rodents that had become resistant to existing poisons. It is one of the most widely used pesticides around the world.

To date, the illnesses have been associated with the use of synthetic marijuana products. Synthetic marijuana is a human-made, mind-altering chemical that is either sprayed on dried, shredded plant material to be smoked or sold as liquids to be vaporized and inhaled in e-cigarettes and other devices. Also known as fake weed, it is sold for recreational drug use under brand names such as K2, Spice, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Genie, Zohai and others.

“While public health officials in Michigan have not been made aware of any cases to date, the fact Illinois is a neighboring state gives us cause for concern,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive. “We are urging anyone who has a reaction to synthetic marijuana, such as severe bleeding, to call 911 or have someone take them to the emergency department immediately.”

When correctly identified, cases can be treated with doses of vitamin K.

Unexplained bleeding could involve blood in the urine, coughing up blood, a bloody nose, bleeding gums, and more.

 

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