CDC warns of salmonella infections traced to kratom

Joy Montgomery
February 21, 2018

Federal officials tracked 1,120 cases in 48 states and D.C. In Washington, there were 23 cases associated with this outbreak which is more than double the number of cases of Salmonella linked to backyard poultry that the previous two years combined. It warned that people who use kratom in place of opioids subject themselves "to an unregulated product that has not been proven safe or effective".

The outbreak started in October 2017, and 11 hospitalizations have occurred.

More than one-third of the poison center calls reported use of kratom in combination with other substances, such as illicit drugs, prescription opioids or over-the-counter medications, the CDC said.

On Feb. 20, 2018, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that it was investigating, along with FDA, a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella that has infected 28 people in 20 states in the United States.

Now, the CDC is urging Americans to steer clear of all forms kratom which they say is the culprit in salmonella infections in 20 states. The agency recently developed a novel scientific analysis using a computer model which demonstrated stronger evidence of kratom compounds' opioid properties, which can lead to serious side effects like seizures and depression.

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Salmonella is a very common bacteria that causes food poisoning. The CDC says it is not clear how it could have gotten into supplies of kratom.

The FDA is also involved in the outbreak investigation, according to the agency's website.

Kratom is the name used for leaves from an evergreen tree found in Southeast Asia.

"Cases of mixing kratom, other opioids and other types of medication is extremely troubling because the activity of kratom at opioid receptors indicates there may be similar risks of combining kratom with certain drugs, just as there are with FDA-approved opioids", Gottlieb said. "No common brands or suppliers of kratom products have been identified".

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.

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