Trichinella spiralis, cause of trichinosis (TRICK-a-NO-sis) is an intestinal roundworm whose larvae may migrate from the digestive tract and form cysts in various muscles of the body. Infections occur worldwide, but are most prevalent in regions where pork or wild game is consumed raw or undercooked. The incidence of trichinosis has declined in the United States due to changes in hog feeding practices. Presently, most cases in this country are caused by consumption of raw or undercooked wild game.
How do people get trichinosis?
People acquire trichinosis by consuming raw or undercooked meats such as pork, wild boar, bear, bobcat, cougar, fox, wolf, dog, horse, seal, or walrus containing Trichinella larvae.
The illness is not spread directly from person to person.
When will symptoms appear? What is the duration?
Abdominal symptoms may appear within 1 to 2 days after eating contaminated meat. Further symptoms (eye swelling and aching muscles and joints) may begin 2 to 8 weeks after infection. Mild cases may assume to be flu.
Symptoms of trichinosis The first symptoms are nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain, followed by headaches, eye swelling, aching joints and muscles, weakness, and itchy skin. In severe infections, persons may experience difficulty with coordination and have heart and breathing problems. Death may occur in severe cases.
How to prevent trichinosis Cook pork and wild game to 165 °F to kill any Trichinella larvae that may be present.