Elliot Olsen’s experience representing people sickened by Salmonella spans decades, and he has regained millions of dollars in compensation. If you or a family member became sick in this Salmonella outbreak attributed to tainted kratom, please call 612-337-6126, or complete the following:
A Salmonella outbreak linked to the herbal drug kratom has expanded, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported.
Forty-seven more cases of Salmonella infection have been confirmed since March 2, the CDC said. Those cases occurred in eight states, increasing the totals to 87 cases and 35 states.
Twenty-seven people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. The last reported illness was made Feb. 24, the CDC said.
Kratom Salmonella outbreak:
Outbreak is months old
The CDC reports that the outbreak – which first made headlines February 20 – started as early as last October 10. People who have become sick in the outbreak range in age from 6 to 67 years; the median age is 39. Fifty-five percent of the victims are male.
Officials in California, North Dakota, Oregon and Utah collected and traced samples of kratom purchased online and in stores. Officials, however, have not been able to identify a single source for the outbreak.
People have reported purchasing kratom from retail locations and online. The CDC is recommending that people not consume kratom in any form.
Kratom trees are grown in Southeast Asia, and the tree’s leaves have been used to relieve pain for centuries. They can be eaten raw, but they are more often 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 becomes a sedative. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) said consuming too much kratom can lead to psychotic symptoms and psychological addiction.
The CDC reports that about 42 percent of kratom usage reported between 2010 and 2015 required treatment. Those cases, however, did not involve 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.
The herb is also known as Thang, Kakuam, Thom, Ketom, and Biak. Advocates say it offers relief from pain, depression, and anxiety. Some scientists believe kratom could be important to treating chronic pain, and it could even be used to combat opioid addiction.
The DEA, however, 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, which would have put it in a category with heroin, LSD, marijuana, and ecstasy. That decision was delayed after members of Congress urged the DEA to give the public would have a chance to comment.
Kratom Salmonella outbreak:
Salmonella facts and figures
CDC statistics show that Salmonella bacteria sicken as many as 1 million Americans yearly. Salmonella produce an illness called salmonellosis, which affects the intestinal tract.
Salmonellosis can develop anywhere from 12 hours to three days after Salmonella-tainted products have been consumed. Symptoms can last as long as a week, and can include:
- abdominal pain
Most people recover without treatment, but sometimes the diarrhea becomes so severe that hospitalization is required.
Of those 1 million annual cases of infection, the CDC says 19,000 victims will require hospitalization. In addition, about 380 victims will die.
People most at risk for complications are children younger than 5, pregnant women, senior citizens, and those with weakened immune systems.
Complications can occur when 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.
Pregnant women are at a higher risk for contracting salmonellosis because their immune systems are suppressed because of the hormonal changes they undergo. Salmonella-produced complications during a pregnancy can result in miscarriage, premature labor, or stillbirth.