Multi-state Outbreak of Salmonellosis Linked to Kratom

CDC and Wisconsin public health officials recommend that people not consume kratom in any form because it may contain Salmonella.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is working with Wisconsin local health departments and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate a multistate outbreak of salmonellosis. Current epidemiologic evidence from the multistate investigation shows that kratom is the likely source of this multistate outbreak.

Kratom is a plant that is consumed by some people for its stimulant effects and sometimes as an opioid substitute. Kratom is also known as Thang, Kakuam, Thom, Ketom, and Biak.

Nationally, ill persons have reported consuming it as pills, powder and tea and purchasing it both from retailers and from online sources. A single common brand or supplier has not been identified.
This investigation has linked multiple strains of Salmonella to the outbreak:

  • Salmonella I 4,[5],12:b:-
  • Salmonella Javiana
  • Salmonella Okatie
  • Salmonella Thompson

Additionally, product testing conducted in other states has cultured multiple outbreak strains of Salmonella from kratom samples purchased at retailers or from sick people's homes.

  • Nationwide, 87 people from 35 states have been infected with one of the outbreak strains of Salmonella.
  • Nationwide, illnesses occurred during January 2017 – February 2018. There have been 27 hospitalizations reported.
  • In Wisconsin, six people have been infected, with illnesses occurring during January 2017 – February 2018. One person has been hospitalized.
  • No deaths have been reported in Wisconsin or nationally.
  • See the CDC Salmonella Outbreak website for complete details of the outbreak.

Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection that generally affects the intestinal tract and occasionally urine, the bloodstream or other body tissues. It is a common cause of diarrheal illness in Wisconsin.

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Last Revised: April 6, 2018