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Trichinosis – Causes and Symptoms

Trichinella spiralis trichinosisTrichinosis is a disease caused by infection with the nematode parasite Trichinella spiralis. This parasite completes its life cycle in the same host. Trichinella lives in human small intestine and stores the larvae in the muscles.

Man can contaminate with this parasite by eating the meat (especially pork), raw or inadequately cooked, or sausages which may contain cysts of parasites. Destruction of cysts of parasites is possible by boiling and freezing sausages at -25 degrees for 10 days.

Other natural reservoirs for the parasite that causes trichinosis are forest animals – wild boar, brown bear, fox, badger, domestic animals – besides pork can be infested the dog or cat, animals that are interposed between the two classes – mice and rats, in polar areas: white bears, seal.

But the main mode of contamination is through pigs, especially if they are raised in freedom.

In the human body, before the onset of symptoms of trichinosis, the parasite is following a cycle: parasite ingested (or cysts) forms larvae in the small intestine – the larvae become adult – the female adults lay larvae that pass through the intestinal wall and reach the bloodstream. From here the larvae will locate preferentially in skeletal muscles where will become encysted.

From contamination it lasts 5 to 45 days until the appearance of symptoms for trichinosis (incubation period).

Trichinosis symptoms

The clinical picture is represented by fever, retinal hemorrhages, diarrhea, muscle pain, pain in the eyeballs, skin lesions, inappetence (lack of appetite), facial and limb edema.

Trichinosis is a disease with a duration of 6 weeks, sometimes up to 3-4 months and needs proper medical treatment for relief of symptoms caused by trichinosis parasite.

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