Synthetic marijuana continues to cause severe bleeding in users across Illinois, state health officials report.
The majority of new cases are in Winnebago County, which surrounds the city of Rockford near the Wisconsin border.
Since mid March, three people have died and more than 160 people in 15 counties in Illinois have experienced severe bleeding after using synthetic cannabinoids – man-made chemicals that are either sprayed on plant material and smoked, mixed into a liquid and vaped or added to food and swallowed.
Patients tested positive for brodifacoum, a chemical found in rat poison, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Individuals reported coughing up blood, blood in the urine, severe bloody nose, bleeding gums, internal bleeding or a combination of these symptoms. People who have used these drugs and have severe or unexplained bleeding or bruising are urged to call 911 or have someone take them to the emergency department.
These synthetic products are also known as herbal or liquid incense and have brand names such as K2, Spice, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Genie and Zohai.
Individuals can locate a drug treatment facility through the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances at helplineIL.org. In Missouri, you can call 1-800-575-7480 or