Quebec health officials reported an outbreak of the parasitic infection, toxoplasmosis, in a at least six hunters who consumed the deer meat they killed during a hunting trip to the United States last November-December.
According to their Mar. 2019 health bulletin (computer translated), in December 2018, they received a report of a person presenting with severe headache, fever, myalgia and arthralgia, and who was coming back from the deer hunt. He required hospitalization for a few days.
This hunter had left with nine other hunters, including five others who have also presented with symptoms. The similarity of symptoms and clinical signs of the six sick hunters exhibited a common etiology.
The source of the contamination was identified to be undercooked meat from white-tailed deer harvested in Illinois.
Testing was performed for leptospirosis, hepatitis E, brucellosis, tularemia and toxoplasmosis. The results of the serologies were compatible with an acute Toxoplasma gondii infection in all cases
(presence of IgM antibodies or seroconversion of antibodies IgG negative to positive; the avidity of IgG, when tested, was low, indicating a recent infection).
This is the first case of toxoplasmosis outbreak in Quebec associated with the consumption of deer meat.
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