Trichinosis – Argentina

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November 9, 2021 – Three recent cases of Trichinosis were reported in Buenos Aires and Cordoba, Argentina. This brings the total number of suspected cases this year to 321 and the number of confirmed cases to 61. No deaths have been reported.

In Argentina, the primary source of a trichinosis infection is transmission from some of the pigs that individuals slaughter at home, according to the source. The risk of transmission is especially high when the meat of a pig is not thoroughly cooked or properly prepared. Symptoms of trichinosis include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, swollen eyelids, muscle aches, and fever. The incubation period of the parasitic infectious disease is 45 days.

To reduce the risk of infection from trichinosis, officials in the source encourage individuals to obtain and consume pork from authorized establishments. They also mention that purchased pork should have authorized manufacturer labeling. Finally, hatcheries should continually inspect pig meat for any signs of the parasite and dispose of properly if discovered.

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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