Aug 31, 2023
Trichinellosis, also referred to as trichinosis, is a parasite food-borne illness that can be acquired by eating raw or undercooked foods, particularly pork products that have been contaminated with Trichinella larvae, a type of roundworm. The food you eat is broken down by the acid and enzymes in your stomach.
The acid and enzymes in infected meat break the tough outer covering (cyst) of the larvae, releasing the adult worms. The worms then produce larvae, which settle in your bodily tissues, especially the muscles. Regardless of age or health, anyone can get trichosis.
Meat that is uncooked or undercooked may contain parasitic roundworm larvae called Trichinella which can infect people and lead to trichinosis. It is impossible to spread the parasite to someone else.
When animals eat the infected animals then there are high chances of them getting infected too.
Anywhere in the world, meat from wild animals like bears, cougars, wolves, wild boars, walruses, or seals could be contaminated. When domestic pigs and horses eat rubbish containing diseased meat scraps, they can acquire trichinosis.
Since cows don't eat meat, beef cannot cause trichinosis. However, consuming beef that had been mixed with infected pork has been linked to a few human cases of trichinosis.
Another way to contract trichinosis is to grind beef or other meat in a grinder that has previously been used to grind infected meat.
Trichinosis symptoms might be very mild or extremely severe. A few days after the worms enter your body, you may experience the following early symptoms:
After eating the contaminated meat, you may experience symptoms that start approximately two weeks later and extend for up to several weeks. They consist of:
Trichinosis can lead to severe situations.
The duration of these symptoms ranges from five to forty-five days, but they often start to show up 10 to 14 days after eating the contaminated meat. One to two days after infection, abdominal symptoms can start significantly sooner. Trichinosis in its milder forms is frequently mistaken for the flu or other viral infections. Trichinosis can be fatal in severe situations.
Trichinosis risk factors include:
Trichinosis can be identified by your doctor after talking to you about your symptoms and performing a physical examination. If you've consumed any undercooked or raw meat, your provider may also inquire.
Your doctor may run the following tests to determine the source of your infection:
Trichinosis frequently heals on its own. Most symptoms in situations with a mild or moderate amount of larvae usually disappear within a few months. However, minor discomforts like diarrhea, weakness, and exhaustion could last for many months or even years. Large infestations of larvae might result in more severe symptoms that require immediate medical attention.
Depending on your symptoms and the severity of the illness, your doctor may recommend drugs.
Antiparasitic medicine. The primary line of trichinosis treatment is antiparasitic medicine. The worms and larvae in the small intestine can be eliminated with albendazole (Albenza) or mebendazole (Emverm) if your doctor diagnoses roundworm (trichinella) parasites early. During therapy, the medications may produce nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
This occurs when the parasite enters the muscle tissue or when larvae that are dead or dying release chemicals into the muscle tissue. A steroid prescription may be recommended by your doctor to treat pain and swelling.
In order to prevent trichinosis, food preparation should be done properly. For advice on preventing trichinosis, read on:
Trichinosis-related consequences are uncommon, save in extreme situations. Roundworm (trichinella) larvae can migrate through the body to reach muscle tissue in and around organs in cases where there are many of them. Complications like inflammation and pain (which could be hazardous or even fatal) of the:
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