CDC reports kratom-related salmonella outbreak in Kansas

Posted February 22, 2018

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded more cases of Salmonella linked to backyard poultry than ever before in 2017. Eleven people have gone to the hospital, but so far no one has died. Unfortunately, that reality is being reflected in shipments of kratom products contaminated with salmonella.

Kratom has been the focus of a storm of controversy. "So until we figure that part out, we're advising people to stay away from kratom altogether".

The Drug Enforcement Administration is looking at a strong restriction on the sales of kratom, which is now traded freely on the internet and in some stores.

Kratom plants are native to Malaysia, whose leaves have traditionally been used in tea for treating pain. Kratom has different names such as Kakuam, Biak, Ketom, Thom and Thang.

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"There is no evidence to indicate that kratom is safe or effective for any medical use", Gottlieb said. The regulator has earlier said it was aware of 36 deaths associated with the plant, however declined to say over what period the deaths occurred.

"Kratom is not an opiate".

Three people have been sickened in California, where the kratom is legal (except in San Diego, which passed a city ordinance against the substance).

Last month, the FDA released a new warning officially classifying the supplement as an opioid based on a series of case reports and computer models.

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It says kratom is illegal in Indiana, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Vermont, Arkansas, Alabama and Rhode Island, as well as some local jurisdictions including Sarasota County in Florida, San Diego and Washington, D.C.

A Salmonella outbreak tied to herbal supplements is "not a huge surprise", said Benjamin Chapman, an associate professor and food safety specialist at North Carolina State University. They say that's double the cases reported in 2015 and 2016 combined.

When patients were interviewed about what they ate in the months before becoming ill, eight of 11 patients (73 percent) said they had consumed kratom pills, powers or teas, according to the CDC.

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