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KDHE Investigating Salmonella Infections Linked to Kratom

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has been working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Food and Drug Administration. UU (FDA) and local health departments to investigate an outbreak in multiple states of Salmonella associated with kratom. Two cases in Kansas have been associated with this outbreak.

As of April 10, 2018, 132 cases of persons infected with outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported in 38 states. Thirty-eight people (40%) have been hospitalized. Products containing Kratom have been tested and reported as positive for Salmonella . The FDA, the CDC and the state public health laboratories continue the genetic analysis in Salmonella recovered from samples of products and sick people to determine if they are related and how they are related.

"Research is ongoing, people should be aware that there is a risk of infection Salmonella if they use any form of kratom, especially if they are in a group at increased risk of infection, including people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, young children and older adults, "said Dr. Farah Ahmed, state epidemiologist at KDHE.

Kratom is a plant native to Southeast Asia that can be used for its stimulant effects, as a substitute for opioids or as a dietary supplement. He is also known as Thang, Kakuam, Thom, Ketom and Biak. People have reported that they consume kratom in the form of powder, such as pills, tea or that they smoke the substance. Because contamination has been found in products from multiple manufacturers, CDC recommends not using kratom in any form because it could be contaminated with Salmonella and cause disease. The FDA has issued several voluntary recalls and a mandatory recall of products containing kratom.

Salmonella infection can cause mild to severe disease. The most common symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. Symptoms usually begin between 12 and 72 hours after exposure to the bacteria, but may take up to 16 days. Symptoms usually resolve without treatment in 4 to 7 days, but some people may require hospitalization. Contact your health care provider if you think you may have become sick from consuming kratom.

You can find information on specific product recalls at: https://www.fda.gov/Food/RecallsOutbreaksEmergencies/Outbreaks/ucm597265.htm #consumers.

For more information about the outbreak of Salmonella kratom-related infections, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/kratom-02-18/index.html or contact the KDHE epidemiology hotline at 1-877-427-7317.

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The mission of KDHE is to protect and improve the health and environment of all people in Kansas.


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