What is Trichinosis?

Trichinella spiralis is a common worm to affects humans who consume pork meat. In a country like India, where quality pork is rarely available even in urban areas trichinosis is a common infection. Trichinosis is a parasitic infection caused by the larvae of the worm.

After consuming poor quality pork containing the cysts of the worm, larvae are liberated in the digestive system by the digestive juices. The larvae invade the small intestine mucous membrane and mature rapidly into adult worms. After seven days, female worms release newborn larvae that migrate via the bloodstream to the skeletal muscles. In the muscles the larva gets encysted.

Clinical Features of Trichinosis

1. Parasite invasion: Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite.

2. Larval migration: Edema and puffiness of the upper eyelids, hemorrhage in the conjunctiva and nail beds, rash, headache, cough, breathlessness, high fever, body aches and sensitivity to light.

3. Larval encystment in muscle: Pain in the muscles, muscle weakness especially muscles of the neck, jaw and lower back.

Management of Trichinosis

1. Complete bed rest.
2. Analgesics.
3. Consult a doctor.

Prevention of Trichinosis

Pork meat should be cooked till it is no longer pink.

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