Kratom Linked to Multistate Salmonella Outbreak

March 27, 2018   |   Evidence in Integrative Healthcare

Kratom is a plant that grows in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. It has seen its usage expanded in the US due to pain-reducing abilities. Very recently it’s been linked to a multi-state outbreak of salmonellosis. A February 2018 CDC report shows 28 people from 20 states who’ve ingested some form of kratom are infected with Salmonella and eleven were hospitalized.

Kratom is marketed in many forms; capsules, pills leaves, powder and tea. This is a new evolving story. Specific brands have not been identified, but are expected to be announced soon. Patients seeking pain relief and using kratom should be warned of the symptoms of salmonellosis including diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Illness lasts 4-7 days and most patients recover without treatment. However, the current outbreak has an unusually high rate of more severe cases requiring hospitalization. Symptoms appear 12-72 hours after use of product. If infection spreads to blood stream or other body sites a person can die unless prompt antibiotic treatment and hydration care are initiated. Approximately 400 people in the USA die annually from salmonella poisoning. Provider intake forms should ask about prescription and non-prescription products used to reduce pain including kratom. Additionally, provider may consider subscribing to the CDC or FDA newsletters for regular updates on this and other patient alerts.