San Diego Resident Victim of Salmonella Outbreak Tied to Kratom

The San Diego County's Health and Human Services Agency has disclosed that a 44-year old resident of the county had been infected with salmonella bacteria back in January. The infected person, whose gender and city of residence has not been disclosed to the public. It is believed that the infection is just one of 40 cases nationwide and is linked to kratom, a tropical herb that is currently being used as a treatment for opioid addiction. This is despite the fact that kratom is currently under an import ban erected in 2014 from the Food and Drug Administration.

Tests have been performed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that have determined that the infection mirrors the same subspecies of salmonella that has been seen in 39 other cases since last October across 27 other states as of February 20th. 12 of the cases were reported only last Friday, The other patients range in ages from 6 to 67, most of whom have stated to have consumed kratom in either pills, powder, or tea.

Kratom is also known by the names thang, kakuam, thom, ketom, and biak. It is a herb found in an evergreen that grows in southeast Asia and has been used since the nineteenth century as medicine in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. While technically legal, the CDC is heavily suggesting that kratom be avoided due to the CDC being so far unable to pinpoint the source of the contamination.

The FDA is considering classifying kratom as a schedule 1 controlled substance which would put it in the same category as drugs like MDMA, heroin, and ecstasy. The FDA defines schedule 1 drugs as those that either have a high potential of abuse, no current accepted medical treatment with it exists, or there is no accepted safety use for it.

In 2016, the possession and distribution of mitragynine-- kratom's active ingredient-- was banned in the city of San Diego, effectively criminalizing kratom. The herb has been linked to 36 deaths last year and San Diego County suffered 10 deaths involving mitragynine since 2014.

However, some are arguing that kratom is proving to be effective in battling opioid addiction and dealing with chronic pain. It has been argued that the deaths in question were also connected to other drugs in the victims' system.

The unnamed patient in San Diego is said to have recovered from the infection.



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