How can you get trichinosis?

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dano7744's profile pic

dano7744 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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Trichinosis is an infection caused by a roundworm parasite found in pork that has not been cooked adequately. Wild game may also be a carrier. When someone consumes meat that has the cyst Trichinella hydrochloric acid in the stomach causes the release of worms from the ingested cyst. The worms then invade the lining of the stomach and reproduce then travel throughout the circulation and finally lodge in striated muscle tissue. The worms die after invading muscle tissue. Infected persons generally have gastrointestinal complaints like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Thankfully, this disorder is not as common as it once was due to educational efforts and general knowledge of basic food safety. All meat including pork should be cooked thoroughly to help prevent this condition.

giorgiana1976's profile pic

giorgiana1976 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Trichinosis is a parasitic disease caused by infection with a tiny worm called Trichinella spiralis.

The human is infested eating pork, wild boar, and sometimes horse meat, insufficiently heat prepared.

Symptoms - appear after a few days or weeks after ingestion of the meat: high fever, diarrhea, fatigue, pain and cramps.

To confirm diagnosis of trichinosis blood tests and muscle biopsy are necessary  to detect larvae.

If the infection is found in the intestinal phase, it is used the anthelmintic treatment but for the muscles' infection is no longer effective.

Mortality is low, infected patients being usually asymptomatic, those with clinical  symptomsgetting better in 2-3 weeks. If the infection is severe clinical symptoms may take up to 2-3 months.

Factors affecting morbidity include:

- the amount of larvae ingested,

- the species to which they belong, spiralis having the highest degree of infectivity 

- the immune status of the host

Patients die because pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, encephalitis or heart failure with or without arrhythmias. Death occurs at 4-8 weeks, but also in 2-3 weeks.

Children seem to be more resistant to infection, however, their symptoms are more intense, also  they develop complications of fever and they recover more quickly.

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