By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Ministry of Health of Castilla-La Mancha has reported a new outbreak of trichinosis in the province of Ciudad Real with 2 affected from a family of 9 people, the first outbreak of the year, according to a report in Animal Health (computer translated).

Trichinella spiralis parasite
Trichinella spiralis cysts

It is reported the family members contracted the parasite after eating wild boar.

Last year, Castilla-La Mancha  recorded three outbreaks of trichinosis affecting 46,  accounting for nearly all of the 49 cases reported in the country in 2019. All three outbreaks were linked to wild meat, not commercialized.

This was a large increase compared to 2018 when only seven cases were reported.

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.

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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.

Giardia in Black and White

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.