Synthetic weed has claimed the lives of at least two people in Illinois, and the analysis revealed that one of the victims had traces of a chemical used in rat poison. Only two people have been known to have died from smoking synthetic weed, and many others have been sent to the hospital.

Another case was also reported outside of Illinois for the first time.

Severe Bleeding

Health officials in Illinois first reported the outbreak of severe bleeding due to contaminated drugs on March 30. They reported that there have been 95 cases of severe bleeding, and almost 30 of those cases happened in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. Two deaths have been reported since the outbreak was announced.

A man from the Chicago suburbs in March was found to have trace amounts of the anticoagulant brodifacoum in his system. The findings were reported by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. Some patients who have been treated for severe bleeding also had evidence of brodifacoum in their system.

In a statement, the Cook County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Ponni Arunkumar warned that brodifacoum can be highly lethal and that it should not be consumed.

Toxicologist Dr. Jenny Lu also explained the effects of ingesting brodifacoum. Lu says that brodifacoum poisoning effects can last weeks to months. She added that people may have symptoms such as unexplained bruising, bleeding from the nose or gums, blood in the urine or stool, coughing up or vomiting blood, and bleeding in the brain.

Spreading Crisis

There has also been a report on a patient in Maryland that was rushed to the emergency room with similar symptoms. The patient had unexplained bruising and was bleeding from different parts of the body. It was reported that this person developed this condition after having taken a synthetic weed product.

In this case, the person didn't die after showing symptoms of brodifacoum poisoning. Their condition is improving, and there have been no other cases reported in the state of Maryland.

Brodifacoum Poisoning

Brodifacoum works by blocking a cell's receptors from being able to take in Vitamin K. In a significant amount, it can also work as a blood thinner and stop the body from being able to clot blood.

Brodifacoum is classified as a superwarfarin, which is a potent and long-acting blood thinner. It is used in rat poison because it is responsible for so much blood thinning that they begin to bleed. Brodifacoum doesn't cause immediate death, but it also causes an unslakable thirst.

There haven't been many cases of brodifacoum poisoning in humans, so it isn't known how much brodifacoum would constitute a fatal dose.

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