7NEWS Exclusive: Sicknesses from synthetic marijuana called public health outbreak

At least 40 patients treated for symptoms

DENVER - Denver Public Health officials confirmed to 7NEWS Thursday that a series of illness linked to synthetic marijuana are now being treated as a public health outbreak.

At least 40 patients have shown up at metro Denver hospitals because of sickness in the last two weeks.  Investigators are trying to determine if anyone has died from the substance in question.

Symptoms include psychotic episodes, seizures, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting.

“It means we're seeing a disease or people showing up for a condition above what we would normally see,” said Karri Hobaica, emergency preparedness director at Denver Public Health.  “We're seeing cases above levels that we should be seeing them at."

7NEWS has learned public health officials from across the state will share information Friday morning to determine where the case numbers stand and if there are any common links.   Special notices have been sent to emergency rooms across the state notifying them of the health concern.

“We are just trying to get a handle on where this is coming from and why there are so many people sick all at once,” said Hobaica. 

The product in question is often known as “Black Mamba.”  However at this point investigators can’t trace it to a single source said Hobaica.

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