CINCINNATI — The answer is, it’s hard to tell, at least until the next incident occurs.
The Cincinnati Health Department issued an alert Thursday morning to its community saying the department has seen a surge in cases of cell phone ringing that could potentially be connected to a recent spate of cases of unexplained cell phone injuries in the area.
Cincinnati Health said it has confirmed the first case of a person being affected by ringing from a cellphone since March.
The department is asking anyone who has received a phone ringing call or received a text from someone who has a phone with a vibrator to call its customer service department immediately.
If that person has a family member or friend with a similar condition, the department is also asking that that person call their local health department.
This comes after a string of unexplained cellphone injuries in central Ohio last week.
The first reported case of an unexplained cellphone injury was reported at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, when a Cincinnati woman had her phone ringing, according to a report from the Columbus Dispatch.
The woman told the newspaper that the ringing caused her to feel dizzy and she became dizzy when the ringing stopped.
About five hours later, a man in his 30s was seen in the same area with his phone ringing as well, the report said.
He had a cut on his finger.
He said he thought he had lost the phone, but the ringing returned and he went to a hospital with swelling and soreness in his finger, the Dispatch reported.
An ambulance and an ER were called in response to the call, and a medical examiner found the cut was from a scratch from the ring, the dispatch reported.
The woman in her 30s said she thought she had been hit by a baseball.
The medical examiner said it was a phone ring, but that it was likely an earring.
The phone ring was removed.
Several more people reported being affected, according the Dispatch.
One woman in a wheelchair, who also was in the hospital with a cut to her finger, said she was using a vibrating device in a shop when a ringing phone started to ring on her phone, the paper reported.
The ringing continued, but stopped at the end of a sentence.
The man who received the ringing phone told the paper he thought it was an ear piece, but his voice got stuck in his head, so he couldn’t answer the ringing.
More people were reported to have received ringing injuries, but no one was seriously injured, according a news release from the city.
On Thursday, the city announced a second round of mandatory safety alerts for all mobile phones, as well as for the vibrating devices.
The city is urging all people to be aware of any ringing devices in their pockets, the alert said.