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What We're Reading: E coli Outbreak Linked to Ground Beef; Kratom Overdoses; Veteran Suicides

AJMC Staff
The CDC says a serious, recent Escherichia coli outbreak has been linked to consumption of ground beef; while President Trump announced a task force to address high rates of veteran suicides, 3 veterans killed themselves last week on Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare properties; a CDC report reveals Kratom-related overdose deaths are higher than previously thought. 

CDC: Ground Beef Linked to E coli Outbreak

The CDC said an outbreak of Escherichia coli connected to consumption of ground beef has affected more than 100 people in 6 states, The Hill reported. The agency has not yet identified the distributor, brand, or supplier of the contaminated products responsible. A total of at least 109 people have gotten sick as the multistate E coli outbreak has become the third largest of its kind in 20 years. While 17 people have been hospitalized, no deaths have been reported.

 

Veteran Suicides Occurring on VA Healthcare Properties

Less than a week after President Trump announced the creation of a task force to address the rates of United States veteran suicides, 3 veterans killed themselves last week on Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare properties, The New York Times reported. Thus far, the department has been unable to reduce the average number of 20 daily veteran deaths by suicide. Rates of suicide among veterans remain 1.5 times higher than among individuals who never served in the military.

 

Kratom Overdoses On the Rise

A CDC report revealed that a higher number of overdose-related deaths have been linked to kratom than previously thought, according to Healthline. Kratom was found responsible in connection to the deaths of 91 people between 2016 and 2017. The total amount was more than double the numbers previously thought, considering the FDA found only 44 kratom related deaths in 2017. Kratom was rarely the only cause of death as individuals frequently used it in addition to opioids. Consumption of kratom leaves in either in tea or capsules produces mild stimulant and opioid-like effects. While the FDA has frequently labelled it unsafe and addictive, it remains a legal substance that users believe to be a safer alternative to pain medication.

 
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