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Published On: Fri, Apr 26th, 2013

Smoked wild boar the source of trichinella outbreak in Argentina

An outbreak of the parasitic infection, trichinellosis, in San Martin de los Andes,Neuquen province, Argentina has been linked to the consumption of smoked wild boar, according to the Argentine news source, rionegro.com Wednesday.

A Trichinella spiralis cyst seen embedded in a muscle tissue specimen, in a case of trichinellosis. Image/CDC

A Trichinella spiralis cyst seen embedded in a muscle tissue specimen, in a case of trichinellosis.
Image/CDC

Health officials report at least 30 people were sickened by the parasite, Trichinella, where most of the patients had eaten the boar meat at a family gathering in the city.

A diagnosis was made at a local hospital where the suspected meat product was analyzed by artificial digestion and enzyme immunoassay, which was positive for Trichinella in a batch of homemade smoked boar meat.

Regional epidemiologist, Fernanda Hadad advises the public if they may have consumed the boar meat and recommended that anyone who has eaten pork or pork products of unknown origin and who, over the past 30 days, has developed symptoms consistent with trichinellosis consult the nearest hospital.

Trichinosis, or trichinellosis is a parasitic disease caused 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.

How can you prevent trichinosis?

  • 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.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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