The number of people infected with the parasitic disease, trichinosis, has grown to 20 people in the Irkutsk region of Siberia, Russia, according to a Sib.fm report (computer translated).
The public health investigation reveals that the hunters contracted the parasite in May after preparing smoked bear meat which was consumed. Shortly after consuming the not fully cooked meat, they complained of feeling bad and went to the hospital.
Trichinellosis, or 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.
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