Salmonella outbreak in 20 states linked to kratom consumption

Powders capsules and teas made from the herbal alternative kratom have been linked to salmonella infections in 28 people in the US the CDC announced Tuesday

That can lead to salmonella infections. The plant, which is native to Southeast Asia, is a legal commodity and can be purchased online.

In November, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced he'd work with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to settle on a classification for kratom, which the DEA lists as a "Drug and Chemical of Concern" and has no approved medicinal use.

Cases have also been reported in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and OR to name a few.

The CDC recommends that people refrain from consuming kratom at this time.

The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product.

In health official conducted interviews, ill individuals were asked about the foods they ate and other exposures before they became ill. A total of 28 people have been infected with salmonella across 20 states, with 11 hospitalized and no reported deaths so far.

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"Epidemiological evidence indicates that kratom is a likely source of this multi-state outbreak", the agency said.

Salmonella warnings like this from the CDC are not unusual. Generally, any dietary supplement containing kratom would need to be the subject of a New Dietary Ingredient Notification demonstrating that the product will reasonably be expected to be safe.

Nevertheless, the supplement is available widely online and was even being sold for a time out of an Arizona vending machine. It's also sometimes touted as a way to treat addiction to opioids.

The FDA recently completed a scientific analysis of kratom which showed that the plant contains compounds similar in structure to controlled opioid analgesics. It can cause psychosis, seizure and death, according to the CDC. 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".

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. Across the United States, several reports of deaths and addiction led the Drug Enforcement Administration to place kratom on its list of "drugs and chemicals of concern".

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