A San Diegan is among the dozens of victims in a multi-state salmonella outbreak linked to the herbal supplement kratom, health officials said Friday.
The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) said the 44-year-old local fell ill in January but was not hospitalized, and has since recovered.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Friday that 40 cases of salmonella have been reported across 27 states. In all, 14 have been hospitalized, but none had died as of Friday.
Salmonella is a bacterial infection of the intestines caused by consuming unprepared products like eggs, dairy, or water, according to health officials. Last year, 575 cases were reported but the CNC believes the actual number of cases to be much higher, as some patients may not have sought medical attention.
The CDC said kratom is the most likely source of this outbreak. A specific brand or supplier has not been named at this time. Kratom is a plant found in Southeast Asia that has stimulant effects like coffee and is known to be used as an opioid substitution, according to the County News Center.
The CDC, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and HHSA have since issued recommendations against the consumption of kratom in any form.
The FDA oversaw a voluntary recall and destruction of multiple kratom products last week. This is after the agency banned all imports of kratom products starting in 2014.
The city of San Diego passed an ordinance that outlawed the sale, possession, and distribution of two active components in kratom in 2016.
Mitragynine, one of those active components, was associated with 10 deaths in the country since 2014. One more is currently being investigated.
Most infected patients feel sick for four to seven days and recover without treatment. However, according to the CNC, the elderly, infants, and those with a weakened immune system are known to develop complications that require immediate medical attention.