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Oregon Health Officials Warn People Not To Take Kratom


Oregon health officials are warning people not to use the herbal supplement kratom.

Oregon health officials are warning people not to use the herbal supplement kratom.

Kristian Foden-Vencil/OPB

Oregon health officials are warning people not to use the herbal supplement kratom after testing found salmonella in numerous samples.

The warning comes after two Oregonians fell ill from taking the product. One person was hospitalized, but both have now recovered.

Epidemiologists at the Public Health Division of the Oregon Health Authority said the cases in Washington and Malheur counties are linked to a national outbreak that’s sickened 48 people in 30 states.

OHA epidemiologists, along with representatives of Washington County Public Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, obtained kratom capsules and powders from Torched Illusions at its two locations in Beaverton and Tigard. 

The state said the samples were tested by a private laboratory and a total of 15 samples tested positive for salmonella bacteria.

The strains the state found in the kratom 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 Oregon state epidemiologist Dr. Katrina Hedberg.

Advocates of the herbal supplement say it can be used for pain relief and to treat opiate addiction.

People who believe they’ve gotten sick from consuming kratom should contact a health care provider.

“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,” she said.

Washington state issued a similar warning last week after three people fell ill.

Each year, 400 to 500 cases of infection from salmonella are reported in Oregon. Most people infected with the bacteria develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps a few days after exposure.

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