Trichinosis – Argentina

August 25, 2021 – A total of 17 cases of trichinosis have been reported in Argentina. Of those 17, 15 were reported in Piquillin, Argentina and 2 were reported in the town of Villa del Rosario, Argentina. No reported deaths and the source claims that there is no connection between the outbreaks in the two different locations. Patient demographic information was not noted in this source.

Trichinosis is a parasitic infectious disease caused by the parasite Trichinella spiralis. It is contracted generally through the consumption of raw or undercooked pork contaminated with the parasite. Though the specific symptoms for the cases were not listed in the source, the source states that symptoms of a trichinosis infection include fever, muscle pain, headaches, pain and swelling around the eyes, diarrhea and vomiting. It was suspected that the individuals infected with trichinosis had consumed salami and chorizo that may have been contaminated with the parasite. Further investigation of the outbreak is currently underway.

The 17 individuals infected with trichinosis are currently receiving medical treatment at different facilities. Officials encourage the community to practice safe food handling to avoid trichinosis infections. This includes the following: avoiding the consumption of raw or undercooked meat, avoid meats that have not been properly inspected, ensure the validity of the company and market in which the meat was obtained from, salting and smoking meats are not thorough ears to destroy parasites that are present, and avoid consuming choripan in unauthorized positions.

Photo: Trichinella spiralis larvae, also called prok worm.

Trichinosis, also known as trichinellosis, is a parasitic disease caused by roundworms. Typically the disease is contracted by eating under-cooked, usually wild, meat containing Trichinella cysts. Most often bear meat will be the cause, but infection can also occur from pork, boar, rodents and dog meat.

After being eaten, the larvae are released from their cysts in the stomach. They then invade the wall of the small intestine, where they develop into adult worms. Symptoms usually are diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting.

This disease is found in at least 55 countries, but is more common in cooler climates. The best way to prevent trichinosis is to fully cook meat and avoid eating wild meat or bush meat.

In 1835 trichinosis was discovered by James Paget, at that time a first-year medical student and known as one of the founders of medical pathology. He took a special interest in muscles that had white flecks, which he called sandy diaphragm. It took a whole two decades before his discovery gained wide acceptance in the medical community.

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