Federal and Kansas state health officials have linked one person’s Salmonella infection to taking rattlesnake pills from Mexico and are advising that the public talk to their doctor if they are considering taking rattlesnake pills, particularly if you in a group more likely to get a severe Salmonella infection like people with weakened immune systems, including people who are receiving chemotherapy or have HIV; pregnant women; children younger than 5 years; and older adults.
Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicate that one person in Kansas became sick with Salmonella Oranienburg after taking the rattlesnake pills the week before getting sick. Advanced laboratory testing called whole genome sequencing showed that the Salmonella that made the person sick matched the Salmonella found in rattlesnake pills from Mexico collected in an earlier, unrelated investigation.
Rattlesnake pills are often marketed as remedies for various conditions, such as cancer and HIV infection. These pills contain dehydrated rattlesnake meat ground into a powder and put into pill form.
Reptiles and their meat can carry Salmonella and make people sick. Past outbreak investigations have identified rattlesnake pills as a source of human Salmonella infections.
- Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas: Suspected norovirus sickens 333
- Influenza A H1N1: An update on the Kumasi, Ghana outbreak
- Naegleria fowleri: Study on death estimates, treatment success and the northward expansion of infections
- 1976 Ebola outbreak survivors may be able to stave off future infections: Study
- MRSA: Higher-than-expected prevalence found at beaches around Lake Erie
- Valley fever: Experts predict a significant increase in cases in 2018
- Polio news: Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Australia