A herbal medicine brand sold in several US cities has been linked to a growing outbreak of the coronavirus, according to health officials in Kenya, Uganda and Ghana.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alfa herbal medicine was found in at least six US cities between February 13 and March 11.
The product was sold at Walmart stores in Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Seattle, New York, and San Francisco, the CDC said in a statement.
Alfa’s brand was found to be in violation of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the statement said.
The US Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating the case and would take further action if it was found unsafe.
In a statement, Walmart said it “strongly condemns” the alleged adulteration.
“We take this matter seriously and will take appropriate actions to remove this product from our shelves,” Walmart said.
It said it had “zero tolerance” for any product that does not meet the FDA standards.
Alfalfa, the world’s second largest medicinal herb, is grown in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
The brand is available in the United States through a partnership with Alfa Health.
In Ghana, Alfalfas popularity has grown amid the Ebola outbreak.
Alfiarwa is the name of the country’s main hilltop mountain, and its name means “mountain of healing”.
Alfa is a name meaning “spiritual medicine” in Afrikaans.