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Rattlesnake Pills Transmitted Salmonella, Officials Say

Rattlesnake Pills Transmitted Salmonella, Officials Say

(Matthijs Kuijpers/Dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 20 December 2017 12:03 PM

Rattlesnake pills transmitted salmonella to a person in Kansas, officials believe, and government agencies have issued alerts about the products, according to CBS News.

The network said that the pills consist of a powder ground from rattlesnake meat and produced into a pill form, but have no proven medicinal value. Officials said that reptiles can carry salmonella and make people ill, CBS News reported.

"Rattlesnake pills are often marketed as remedies for various conditions, such as cancer and HIV infection," a statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. "… CDC recommends that you talk to your health provider if you are considering taking rattlesnake pills, especially if you are in a group more likely to get a severe salmonella infection."

The CDC reported that one person in Kansas became sick after taking rattlesnake pills bought in Mexico. The person reported taking rattlesnake pills in the week before getting sick, according to the CDC.

"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," the CDC said.

The CDC said people likely to suffer from severe salmonella include those with weakened immune systems, including people who are receiving chemotherapy or have HIV; pregnant women; children younger than 5 years; and older adults.

The salmonella threat from rattlesnake pills has been around for a long time. Reuters reported in 2007 that a study confirming a link led to some retailers rethinking the product.

"We've used DNA molecular testing to prove definitively that the salmonella bacteria found in the dried meat was the cause of a life-threatening case of salmonella blood poisoning in a patient treated at our hospital," John James, a microbial epidemiologist at Children's Hospital in Denver, said in a statement to Reuters at the time.

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Rattlesnake pills have been linked to salmonella after a person in Kansas fell ill after taking the pills, government agencies warned.
rattlesnake, pills, transmitted, salmonella
Wednesday, 20 December 2017 12:03 PM
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