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National Salmonella Outbreak Includes Oregon, Herbal Supplement Kratom To Blame


Oregon state health officials are urging people to stop using the herbal supplement, kratom. Several test samples have been found to contain the salmonella bacteria. Two people fell ill in Oregon and now those cases are linked to a national outbreak.

Through its investigation, Oregon Health Authority epidemiologists learned one of the sickened Oregonians bought kratom online. The other got it at a smoke shop called Torched Illusions. State Health Officer Dr. Katrina Hedberg says they tested capsules from shops in Beaverton and Tigard.

“And what we found in testing the samples of kratom was that there were a number of different stains of Salmonella. So it looked like it was actually pretty common, about half the samples that we collected did have Salmonella on them.”

Dr. Hedberg says so far 48 people in 30 states have been sickened by the salmonella outbreak. All cases have been traced back to kratom consumption.  

Kratom, also called ketom, is a tropical plant in Southeast Asia. According to the Center for Disease Control, its leaves are consumed for stimulant effects and as an opioid substitute.

As an herbal supplement, kratom is not regulated by the Federal Food and Drug Administration.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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