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trichinosis





Light micrograph of tissue taken from a biosopy sample taken from a patient's muscle shows a cyst formed by a Trichinella spiralis larva, an infestation of which causes trichinosis
Light micrograph of tissue from a biopsy sample taken from a patient's muscle shows a cyst formed by a Trichinella spiralis larva, an infestation of which causes trichinosis
Infestation with larvae of the worm Trichinella spiralis, contracted from eating uncooked pork, etc. It is avoided by the adequate cooking of pork products, and freezing meat to a temperature below -18°C for 24 hours. Chemotherapy may be helpful in severe cases.


Symptoms of trichinosis

A slight infestation usually causes no problems. However, heavy infestation may cause diarrhea and vomiting within a day or two of eating infected meat; gastrointestinal symptoms are followed by fever; edema around the eyes; severe muscle pains, which may last for several weeks; and myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle).


Diagnosis and treatment

Trichinosis may be suspected from the symptoms, and the diagnosis is confirmed by blood tests, or by a muscle biopsy (tissue sample). Treatment of the infestation is with an anthemintic drug.


Related category

   • HEALTH AND DISEASE