About trichinosis (trichinellosis)
What is trichinosis (trichinellosis)?
Trichinosis (trik-ih-NO-sis), sometimes called trichinellosis (trik-ih-nuh-LOW-sis), is a type of roundworm infection. These roundworm parasites (trichinella) use a host body to live and reproduce. These parasites infect animals such as bears, cougars, walruses, foxes, wild boars and domestic pigs. You get the infection by eating the immature form of the roundworm (larvae) in raw or undercooked meat.
When humans eat raw or undercooked meat containing trichinella larvae, the larvae grow into adult worms in the small intestine. This takes several weeks. The adult worms produce larvae that travel through the bloodstream to different parts of the body. They then bury themselves in muscle tissue. Trichinosis is most widespread in rural areas throughout the world.
Trichinosis can be treated with medication, though it's not always needed. It's also easy to prevent.
What are the symptoms for trichinosis (trichinellosis)?
After you eat roundworm (trichinella) larvae, they grow into adult worms in your small intestine. The adults then produce larvae that move through the bloodstream to muscle tissues, shown here.
Signs and symptoms of trichinosis infection and how severe the infection is can vary. This depends on the number of larvae eaten in the infected meat.
Possibly no signs or symptoms
Mild cases of trichinosis — those with only a small number of parasites in your body — may cause no signs or symptoms. Symptoms can develop with moderate or heavy infestation ⸺ a large number of parasites in your body. These symptoms sometimes get worse as the roundworm (trichinella) larvae travel through your body.
Initial signs and symptoms
You swallow roundworm (trichinella) larvae in tiny sacks (cysts) containing the parasite. Your digestive juices dissolve the cysts, releasing the larvae into your body. The larvae then enter the wall of your small intestine, where they grow into adult worms and mate. Digestive symptoms can begin 1 to 2 days after infection. At this stage, you may experience:
Later signs and symptoms
About a week after infection, the adult female worms produce larvae. The larvae go through the wall of your intestine and enter your bloodstream, They travel around the body and bury themselves in muscle tissue. Here, each larva coils up and forms a cyst around itself. The larvae can live for months to years inside the muscle tissue.
Symptoms caused by muscle tissue invasion usually start 2 to 8 weeks after infection and include:
- High Fever and Chills
- Muscle pain and tenderness
- Aching joints
- Swelling of the eyelids or face
- Sensitivity to light
- Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
- Itchy, irritated skin
With a large number of parasites, muscle pain and Weakness can be severe. This can limit moving, breathing and speaking.
Symptoms last for several months. But symptoms generally lessen when the larvae form cysts. Even after the infection is gone, Fatigue, mild pain, Weakness and Diarrhea may last for months or years.
What are the causes for trichinosis (trichinellosis)?
People get trichinosis when they eat raw or undercooked meat that is infected with the larvae of the trichinella roundworm parasite. You can't pass the parasite on to another person.
Animals are infected when they feed on other infected animals. Infected meat anywhere in the world can come from wild animals such as bear, cougar, wolf, wild boar, walrus or seal. Domestic pigs and horses can become infected with trichinosis when they feed on garbage containing infected meat scraps.
In the United States, pigs have become a less common source of infection due to increased control of pork feed and products. Wild-animal meat is the source of most cases of trichinosis in the U.S.
You can't get trichinosis from beef, as cows don't eat meat. But some cases of trichinosis in people have been linked to eating beef that was mixed with infected pork.
You can also get trichinosis when beef or other meat is ground in a grinder previously used to grind infected meat.
What are the treatments for trichinosis (trichinellosis)?
Trichinosis usually gets better on its own. In cases with a mild or moderate number of larvae, most signs and symptoms typically go away within a few months. However, fatigue, mild pain, weakness and diarrhea may stay for many months or years. Infection with a large number of larvae can cause more-severe symptoms that need treatment right away.
Your health care provider may prescribe medications depending on your symptoms and the severity of infection.
Anti-parasitic medication. Anti-parasitic medication is the first line of treatment for trichinosis. If your provider discovers that you have roundworm (trichinella) parasites early, albendazole (Albenza) or mebendazole (Emverm) can kill the worms and larvae in the small intestine. The drugs may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain during the treatment.
If your provider discovers the infection after the larvae bury themselves in muscle tissues, the anti-parasitic drugs may not kill all the parasites. However, your provider might prescribe one if you have brain, heart or lung problems due to larvae causing pain and swelling (inflammation) in these organs.
- Pain relievers. After the larvae have entered the muscles, your provider may prescribe pain relievers to help relieve muscle aches and pain and swelling (inflammation). Over time, the larvae cysts in your muscles tend to harden into calcium (calcify). As a result, the larvae die, and the muscle aches and weakness usually go away.
- Steroid medication. Sometimes trichinosis can cause an allergic reaction. This happens when the parasite enters muscle tissue or when dead or dying larvae release chemicals in your muscle tissue. Your provider might prescribe a steroid medication to control pain and swelling.
What are the risk factors for trichinosis (trichinellosis)?
Risk factors for trichinosis include:
- Improper food preparation. Trichinosis infects humans when they eat raw or undercooked infected meat, including pork and wild-animal meat. It can also include other meat contaminated by grinders or other equipment.
- Rural areas. Trichinosis is more common in rural areas around the world. Higher infection rates are found in hog-raising regions.
- Eating wild or noncommercial meats. Public health measures have greatly lowered the number of trichinosis infections from commercial meats. But noncommercial farm-raised animals — particularly those with access to wild-animal carcasses — have higher rates of infection. Wild animals are still common infection sources.
Is there a cure/medications for trichinosis (trichinellosis)?
Trichinosis (trichinellosis) is a disease caused by microscopic parasites. Usually, a person catches this disease by eating uncooked and raw meat from birds and animals infected with parasites. Moreover, this parasital infection is curable through anti-parasitics.
Following is the cure and medication for trichinosis (trichinellosis):
- Diagnosis: The doctor will first diagnose the patient with a blood test or Muscel biopsy ( a piece of muscle is extracted and checked under a microscope). After examination of blood and muscles, the doctor will determine the seriousness of the cause and prescribe treatment accordingly.
- Anti parasital medicines: It is the basic medication for the treatment of Trichinosis. Medication like Albenza and Emverma are effective to kill warm and larvae in the intestine. However, these drugs have some side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. Moreover, these medications can’t cure the problem if it reaches a spike of seriousness.
- Pain killers: if the larvae enter the muscle, then the doctor will prescribe you painkillers to relieve the inflation, aches, and swellings. These painkillers turn larvae cysts into calcium, and pain will automatically go away with time.
- Steroid medication: If parasites enter the tissues, they sometimes release a chemical in the tissues that result in an allergic reaction. These steroid medications help to curb swelling and pain.
Roundworm infection,Worms use the host body to reproduce and live, these parasites infect animals such as bears, foxes, wild boars and domestic pigs
Anti parasitics- Albenza and Emverma
Nausea,Vomiting,Fatigue,Fever,Abdominal discomfort,Headaches,Chills,Cough,Swelled eyes and faces,Aching joints,Muscle pains,Itchy skin,Diarrhea,Constipation