Elliot Olsen has more than 20 years’ experience representing people harmed by Salmonella, and he has regained millions of dollars in compensation for them. If you or a family member were sickened in this kratom Salmonella outbreak, please call 612-337-6126, or complete the following:
UPDATE, MARCH 18
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has increased the case count in the kratom Salmonella outbreak to 87 people in 35 states. Twenty-seven people have been hospitalized; no deaths have been reported.
The CDC reiterated that people should not consume any brand of kratom in any form because it could be contaminated with Salmonella.
Fourteen of the 40 victims – 45 percent – have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
The CDC reports that the kratom Salmonella outbreak – which first made headlines February 20 – started as early as last October 10. Those sickened range in age from 6 to 67 years; the median age is 41. Sixty percent of the victims are male.
The strain of Salmonella found in the outbreak has been linked to leftover kratom powder collected from people sickened in North Dakota and Utah. The CDC has not been able to identify a common brand or supplier linked to the tainted kratom.
People have reported purchasing kratom from retail locations and online. The CDC is recommending that people not consume kratom in any form.
The leaves of the kratom tree, which is grown in Southeast Asia, have been used to relieve pain for centuries. The leaves can be eaten raw, but more often they are crushed and brewed as tea or turned into capsules, tablets, and liquids.
Kratom acts as a stimulant when consumed in small doses, but in larger amounts, it acts as a sedative. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) said using too much can lead to psychotic symptoms and psychological addiction.
According to the CDC, about 42 percent of cases of kratom use reported between 2010 and 2015 required treatment, although those cases involved non-life-threatening symptoms. About 7 percent of exposures were classified as major and life-threatening. The DEA reports that there were 15 kratom-related deaths between 2014 and 2016.
Kratom is also called Thang, Kakuam, Thom, Ketom, and Biak. Advocates say kratom offers relief from pain, depression, and anxiety. Some scientists believe kratom could be the key to treating chronic pain, and it could even be used to combat addiction to opioids.
The DEA, however, had moved to ban the sale of kratom last September, citing an “imminent hazard to public safety.” The DEA had announced it would make kratom a “Schedule 1” drug, meaning that it would have been put in a category with heroin, LSD, marijuana, and ecstasy. That decision was delayed after members of Congress urged the DEA to delay the ban so that the public would have a chance to comment.
Kratom Salmonella outbreak:
Salmonella facts and figures
Salmonella bacteria sicken as many as 1 million Americans yearly, according to the CDC. The bacteria produce an illness called salmonellosis, which affects the intestinal tract.
Salmonellosis can develop anywhere from 12 hours to three days after consumption of Salmonella-tainted products. Symptoms, which can last as long as a week, can include:
- abdominal pain
Most people recover without requiring treatment, but sometimes the diarrhea can be so severe that hospitalization is necessary.
The CDC estimates that of those 1 million annual cases of infection, 19,000 victims will need to be hospitalized, and approximately 380 victims will die.
People most at risk for complications are children younger than 5 years old, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with suppressed immune systems.
Complications of Salmonella
Complications from salmonellosis can occur when the Salmonella bacteria enter the bloodstream. Complications can produce conditions such as:
- Meningitis: inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
- Endocarditis: infection of the heart’s inner lining, usually involving the heart valves.
- Osteomyelitis: inflammation of bones that usually targets legs, arms, or spine.
- Reactive arthritis (also known as Reiter’s syndrome): a form of inflammatory arthritis that develops in response to a Salmonella infection in another part of the body.
In addition, pregnant women are at a higher risk for contracting salmonellosis because their immune systems are suppressed due to hormonal changes. Salmonella-produced complications during a pregnancy can result in miscarriage, premature labor, or stillbirth.