Kratom capsules are displayed in Albany, N.Y. (Mary Esch/AP)
The Feb. 22 news article “CDC warns about kratom after salmonella outbreak” reported that “Most of the people sickened have reported consuming kratom in pills, powder or tea, according to the CDC.” But that is not what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The CDC reported that, from Oct. 13, 2017, to Jan. 30, 2018, there were 28 cases of salmonella in which people were likely to share a common source of infection. The CDC interviewed only 11 people in the 28 cases. Of those 11, eight reported consuming kratom. Eight of 28 people is far from the “most of the people” that the article claimed.There is no information publicly available on how or whether the CDC determined that the 17 people who were not interviewed consumed kratom. It is also unclear how the three interviewed people who did not consume kratom became infected with salmonella. The CDC’s claim that kratom is the likely source of the outbreak is based on epidemiologic data, but this hypothesis cannot be proved without completion of the ongoing investigation. There may be an issue here, and the government should work with vendors to ensure that good manufacturing practices are implemented and help fund continued kratom research.