What is Trichinosis?
It is a parasitic infection caused by the nematode Trichinella spiralis, which is found in wild and domestic animals such as pigs, so when consuming raw or undercooked meat from an infected animal, the parasite’s larvae are ingested.
These larvae evolve into worms in the small intestine of the host human body in a few weeks, spreading to different tissue structures, including vital organs such as the heart, brain, and lungs, and can have fatal consequences if not diagnosed and treated promptly.
The best way to prevent trichinosis is to be very careful with the preparation of pork, so you must make sure that it is perfectly cooked before consuming it.
The symptoms of what is also called trichinellosis have two aspects, there are initial symptoms that appear two or three days after the infection and more advanced symptoms that appear between a month or two later:
- Diarrheal episodes.
- Abdominal pain.
- High fever.
- Sore muscles.
- Swollen eyelids
- Swelling in the face.
- Extreme fatigue
In case you have some of the early symptoms in the days after eating pork, see your doctor to receive the appropriate treatment and avoid serious complications such as:
- Heart failure.
Diagnosis and treatment
Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a physical examination and request a blood test and a muscle biopsy if deemed appropriate.
With trichinosis, a stool test is not helpful because the larvae are found in the small intestine, from where they are transported via the arteries to the muscles.
When the diagnosis has been established, the doctor will prescribe various antiparasitic drugs, painkillers, and corticosteroids, whose doses and treatment time will depend on the severity of the infection and the magnitude of the symptoms.
At the ABC Medical Center Internal Medicine Department we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies, of chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.
Related centers and departments
- Vázquez TO, Campos RT. Epidemiología de la triquinosis en México. Rev Enfer Infec Pediatr. 2012;25.26(101):166-167.
- Cervera-Castillo H, Torres-Caballero V, Martínez-García E, et al. Triquinosis humana. Un caso que simula polimiositis. Rev Med Inst Mex Seguro Soc. 2009;47(3):323-326.