Officials with the Province of Buenos Aires Ministry of Health are warning the public not to consume homemade or raw sausage, particularly product without a manufacturer’s label due to an increase in the parasitic infection, trichinosis.

Trichinella spiralis parasite
Trichinella spiralis cysts

According to a Perspectiva Sur report (computer translated), as of Aug. 23, 49 cases of trichinosis have been reported in three districts in the region– Merlo, Moreno and Marcos Paz.

All the patients have been treated and are recovering well.

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.