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 kratom, please call (612) 337-6126, or complete the following:
Oklahoma news sources are reporting that four Oklahomans have been hospitalized in a Salmonella outbreak linked to the herbal drug kratom.
KFOR-TV of Oklahoma City reported that the total number of cases in the Salmonella outbreak has increased to 91 across 36 states. In addition, the station said that the four Oklahomans brings the total number of victims hospitalized nationally to 35.
No deaths have been reported.
Illnesses reported in October
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the national outbreak began last October. It first made headlines, however, on February 20.
Victims range in age from 6 to 67 years, and the median age is 39. Fifty-five percent of the victims are male.
Officials have not been able to identify a single source for the outbreak. Almost two dozen kratom products have been affected.
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 kratom trees, which are grown in Southeast Asia, have been used to relieve pain for hundreds of years. The leaves can be eaten raw, but they are more commonly crushed and brewed as tea. The leaves also can be turned into capsules, tablets, and liquids.
When consumed in small doses, kratom acts as a stimulant. But when consumed in larger amounts, it acts as a sedative. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) said consuming an excessive amount of kratom can lead to psychotic symptoms, and even psychological addiction.
The CDC reports that about 42 percent of kratom usage between 2010 and 2015 required treatment but 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.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), other names for kratom are: Mitragyna speciosa, mitragynine extract, biak-biak, cratom, gratom, ithang, kakuam, katawn, kedemba, ketum, krathom, krton, mambog, madat, Maeng da leaf, nauclea, Nauclea speciosa, or thang.
Advocates say kratom offers relief from pain, depression, and anxiety. Some scientists have said they believe kratom could be important to treating chronic pain. They also said it could 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 announced it would make kratom a “Schedule 1” drug, which would have put it in a category with heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and even marijuana, which is illegal in Oklahoma.
The DEA’s decision was delayed, however, after members of Congress urged the organization to give the public time to comment.
Salmonella bacteria sicken as many as 1 million Americans annually, the CDC says. Salmonella produce salmonellosis, which affects the intestinal tract.
Salmonellosis can develop anywhere from 12 hours to three days after contaminated products have been consumed. Symptoms, which can last up to a week, generally include:
- abdominal pain and vomiting
- fever and chills.
Most people recover on their own. Sometimes, however, diarrhea can become so severe that hospitalization is needed.
Of the 1 million annual cases of infection, the CDC says 19,000 victims will need to be hospitalized. About 380 victims will die.
People most at risk for complications are children younger than 5 years old, women who are expecting, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.
When Salmonella bacteria enter the bloodstream, complications can occur, such as:
- meningitis: an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
- endocarditis: an infection of the heart’s inner lining; this usually involves the heart’s valves.
- osteomyelitis: an inflammation of bones; this usually targets the legs, arms, or spine.
- reactive arthritis (also known as Reiter’s syndrome): a form of inflammatory arthritis that develops in response to Salmonella infection elsewhere in the body.
Pregnant women are at a higher risk for complications because their immune systems are suppressed due to hormonal changes. Salmonella-produced complications during a pregnancy can result in miscarriage, premature labor, or even stillbirth.