Centers for Disease Control Warns About Salmonella Poisoning From Taking Kratom
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), announced that the dietary supplement kratom had been linked to an outbreak of salmonella. The outbreak, which has occurred in 20 states to this point, began in October of 2017. Officials from the CDC and FDA warned that taking Kratom might infect a user with salmonella. As of this time, health regulators indicate that 11 people required hospitalization after falling ill. As of February of 2018, no deaths were reported by the CDC or FDA. The FDA announced that an additional 45 people had contracted salmonella poisoning as of April 2018. That brings the total number of salmonella poisoning cases to 131 with 38 people requiring hospitalization.
Kratom is an herb cultivated in Malaysia. The American Kratom Association touts the substance as a coffee-like dietary supplement. Users ingest kratom in various forms including pills, tea, and powders. Approximately 3 to 5 million people in the United States use kratom as a dietary aid to relieve symptoms of pain and anxiety. Additionally, the American Kratom Association (AKA) argued that the supplement can ease the symptoms associated with opiate withdrawal. Notwithstanding the benefits attributed to kratom-based products taken as a substitute for pain medication, the product evades regulation. Consequently, it could be a hazardous and potentially lethal consumer product.
The product liability lawyers with Parker Waichman LLP are consistently searching for products that might harm people. Parker Waichman LLP’s products liability attorneys have experienced tremendous success holding companies who carelessly or recklessly manufacture and distribute healthcare products which are harmful liable for damages, even if regulated by the FDA or another federal agency. The consumer of a kratom-based product can never adequately ensure their safety due to the lack of federal oversight.
If you or a family member suffered food poisoning from salmonella due to consumption of a contaminated kratom-based product or sustained another side effect that you were unaware might occur, you could be eligible to receive a substantial economic award. Parker Waichman LLP’s products liability lawyers are ready to help protect your rights and hold those who caused your injuries responsible for their actions. Parker Waichman LLP has recovered over $2 billion for their clients by working exhaustively in the pursuit of justice.
Kratom-based Product Salmonella Outbreak
The CDC performed tests on the people who received a diagnosis of salmonella poisoning. The CDC has a vested interest in identifying the source of the infection. The CDC performs genome sequence testing to determine whether the infections might be genetically similar. If the samples are similar, the CDC concludes that the salmonella poising came from the same source. The examination conducted by the CDC revealed that the salmonella strains are genetically similar. The CDC, therefore, found that the salmonella contamination is likely from the same source.
The number of salmonella infections from kratom has spread across the U.S. California health officials reported three cases. Either one or two people fell ill from salmonella poisoning in Utah, Oregon, Ohio, and Pennsylvania as of February 20, 2018. By early April of 2018, the CDC noted that cases of salmonella poisoning from kratom use appeared in Connecticut, Iowa, and Idaho.
Salmonella poisoning is a serious medical condition. Symptoms associated with salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, fever, chills, headache, and dehydration. Most cases will pass within a day or two but can last up to 10 days. The most severe infections require hospitalization and can cause a blood infection. The blood infection could cause swelling in the brain and affect your heart as well. People with severe salmonella poisoning have also contracted reactive arthritis.
Salmonella contaminates food when waste or contaminated water comes into contact with the product. The CDC is unable to determine if the water used during the production of kratom was the source of contamination or if infected waste might play a role in the outbreak. Salmonella is more common in developing nations where the water supply might not be as clean as it is here in the U.S.
Salmonella poisoning is usually treated with antibiotics. Additionally, your physician might prescribe anti-diarrheal medication for you as well. Of course, the treatment you receive will depend on the severity of the infection.
What Is Kratom?
The producers of kratom-based products and the AKA define the substance as an herb. According to the AKA, the tree the herb is from the tree Mitragyna speciosa and is allegedly in the coffee bean family. Mitragyna speciosa grows in Southeast Asia and is native to that region. The AKA indicates that products made from kratom stock shelves in 44 states in the U.S. Six states, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Vermont, Wisconsin along with the District of Columbia, have banned the substance.
Advocates of kratom consumption say that the drug’s effect is like that obtained by taking prescription painkillers. However, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) does not agree. In 2016, the DEA attempted to add kratom to Schedule I of the narcotics table because the herb produces an opiate-like effect. Despite the efforts made the by DEA, the agency withdrew its intention and referred the matter to the FDA for further study. The DEA placed kratom of its “drugs of concern” list.
Advocates for the use of the substance claim that taking kratom is no more addictive than taking caffeine. Afterall, coffee and kratom come from the same family tree, proponents of the drug say. Federal regulators in the U.S. harbor a differing opinion of the level of addictiveness of kratom than that espoused by the AKA. The FDA expressed concerns about the addictiveness of the herb. Justifying the FDA’s concern are the computer models run by the FDA on the active ingredients of kratom. The active ingredients in kratom are alkaloids and bind to the same receptors in the brain that heroin and other opiate drugs do, according to the FDA’s computer models.
Kratom advocates reject the FDA’s assertion as an “overstatement.” Proponents of the drug say agree that is the case but argue that the effect of producing dopamine, the same hormone released from heroin use, is a lower and safer level while continuing to provide the same pain-relieving effects of prescription pills with an opiate base.
The FDA might have a case to agree with the DEA and declare kratom a dangerous drug. The CDC cites the number of calls to poison control regarding the substance from 2010 to 2015. Poison control counselors received 26 calls for help regarding kratom to 263 in 2015. Seven percent of the callers reported severe side effects from taking kratom, including one death. Most users reported only mild to moderate side effects from consuming kratom. Notwithstanding the CDC’s statistics, the FDA stated that it received notification of 44 people who died after ingesting kratom in some form.
Holding Kratom Companies Responsible for Distributing Harmful Consumer Products
The products liability lawyers with Parker Waichman LLP are available to answer any questions you might have regarding your legal rights if you or a loved one suffered salmonella poisoning after taking a kratom-based product. Please call Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or use our contact form to schedule a mutually convenient time to meet with Parker Waichman LLP’s kratom lawyers.
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