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Suburban man hospitalized with critical lung illness that could be linked to vaping

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — A northwest suburban man remains in the hospital suffering from a sudden and critical lung illness that could be linked to vaping.

Tracy Krasne said her 20-year-old son Brian, who is otherwise healthy, had been extremely sick.

“It's not good to see him like this,” she said. “He's been throwing up, coughing, nauseous, dizzy.”

After three days at their Lincolnshire home, she took him to urgent care Sunday. He was then he was rushed to the emergency room and admitted to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights.

“They did a chest X-ray and a CT scan,” Tracy Krasne said.  “They found he has double pneumonia and a swollen pancreas.”

After talking with her son, she learned he was vaping and doing something called “dabs,” an e-cigarette with THC in it.

Doctors haven't officially determined if the illness is tied to vaping.

Now she is wondering if her son's illness could be related after hearing about more than two dozen other cases in Illinois.

The latest numbers from the Illinois Department of Public Health show one death and 27 confirmed cases of respiratory illness with reported recent use of vaping, with an additional eight cases under investigation.

Illinois lawmakers have launched an investigation of their own.

“This is a public health epidemic and crisis and we are not going to let up until we end it,” 8th District Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said.

Senator Dick Durbin wants a ban on all flavored e-cigarette products and called out the head of the FDA.

“He has the power today to ban the flavoring so attractive to children in high school and middle school and he refuses to do it,” he said.

Wednesday the state of Michigan became the first to ban the sale of sweet, fruity and menthol-flavored vaping products.

As Tracy Krasne sits at her son's bedside, she's desperate for answers and action. She wants to prevent anyone else's child going through something like this.

“Our children don’t' know. They're young. They think it's okay. They see older siblings and friends doing it,” she said. “(They think) it's fun. It's not.”

Tracy Krasne has contacted the Lake County Health Department and plans to pass over her son's vape pen and cartridges to investigators.

The state department of health along with the CDC, are all looking into these cases as well.

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