Oregon health officials warned Thursday that some kratom herbal supplements could be contaminated with salmonella bacteria linked to a national outbreak.
Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division epidemiologists said two Oregonians, one in Washington County and another in Malheur County, became ill in the past four months after taking the supplements. Salmonella infections have sickened 48 people in 30 states.
The Oregon victims were not identified. The Washington County resident bought kratom at Torched Illusions and fell ill with salmonellosis in mid-January. The Malheur County resident bought kratom online and became ill in mid-November. Only the Malheur County resident was hospitalized. Both have recovered.
Kratom is a Southeast Asia plant used as a stimulant and as an opioid substitute. It can be brewed in a tea, chewed, smoked or ingested in capsules. It may also be known as Thang, Kakuam, Thom, Ketom and Biak.
A test of 15 kratom capsules and powders samples from Torched Illusions in Beaverton and Tigard found Salmonella, although the strains did not match the national outbreak strain.
"What this tells us is that multiple strains of Salmonella — not just the strain implicated in the national outbreak — are popping up in kratom products," said Dr. Katrina Hedberg, health officer and state epidemiologist at the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division. "We don't yet know the ultimate source of all the contaminated kratom. Because of this, we recommend people not consume kratom in any form and throw it away."
Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps one to three days after exposure, with symptoms continuing for up to a week.
For information about the national Salmonella outbreak go to www.cdc.gov/salmonella/kratom-02-18/.