By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Russian officials report Thursday that 10 people from Altai Republic, near the Mongolian border, were hospitalized with trichinosis after consuming undercooked bear cub.
The regional office of Rospotrebnadzor said, “Not all bears, of course, are infected with Trichinella. But this sometimes happens, there were simply no such massive cases. We are in control of the situation.”
Earlier, Russians were advised to avoid contact with raw meat and animal blood in Altai, so as not to get infected with bubonic plague. As the infectious disease doctor Ivan Konovalov stated , outbreaks of the plague periodically occur in Russia, where the traditions of local peoples include eating raw animal meat. He emphasized that there is a vaccine against the plague pathogen.
Trichinosis is a parasitic disease caused most commonly by the roundworm Trichinella spiralis. If someone ingests undercooked or raw meat with the encysted larvae, the stomach acid releases the larvae which mature to adults in the intestine.
After about a week the female starts releasing larvae which enter the bloodstream and find their way to skeletal muscle where they encapsulate.
There can be gastrointestinal symptoms mimicking acute food poisoning when there is activity of the adults in the intestine.
Sudden appearance of fever, muscle soreness and pain with swelling of parts of the face is early classic signs. This can sometimes be followed by retinal hemorrhages and other ocular signs.
With heavy infections cardiac, respiratory and neurological problems may ensue with death by heart failure being most common. The more larvae you ingest, the more serious the disease.
What preventive measures are available?
• Cook all fresh pork, pork products and meat from wild animals to where all the meats reaches 160° F. The meat should turn from pink to gray.
• Freezing pork at -13° F for at least 10 days will kill the cysts. The exception to this rule is strains of Trichinella found in walrus and bear meat which are cold-resistant and must be cooked as noted above.
• Smoking, salting or drying meat is not effective.