Trichinosis – What is it, Symptoms and Treatments of this parasitic infection . In addition, Trichinosis is an infection caused by the nematode Trichinella spiralis or another nematode of the genus Trichinella.
Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, muscle pain, and fever. People acquire the infection by eating contaminated raw or undercooked meat. People first have nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, followed later by muscle pain, weakness, fever, headache, and sometimes inflammation of other organs.
Several weeks after the infection starts, a blood test to detect antibodies against the nematode can confirm the diagnosis. Cooking meats too well can kill the nematodes, and freezing meat usually kills them. Antiparasitic medications such as albendazole can eliminate worms from the intestines, but bed rest and pain relievers are needed to relieve muscle pain.
Trichinella larvae live in the muscle tissue of animals, usually pigs, wild boar, bears, walruses and many carnivores. Sometimes the muscle tissue of horses given meat supplements contains these larvae.
People develop trichinosis if they eat raw, undercooked or underprocessed meat from an animal that carries the parasite . In most people, infections come from eating pork, especially in regions where pigs are fed raw meat scraps and garbage, or from eating wild boar, bear, or walrus meat.
The Trichinella larva is also commonly found in bears, foxes and wild boar. Animals can become infected with Trichinella when they feed on other infected animals or on litter containing infected meat fragments.
Humans can contract Trichinosis when they eat raw or undercooked meat from an animal infected with Trichinella larvae. After the parasites are ingested, the acid in the stomach dissolves the cyst, which is the protective capsule that surrounds the larvae. When the hard covering of the cyst dissolves, the larvae enter the intestine, where they mature into adult worms and reproduce.
Female worms release their larvae into the bloodstream, allowing them to migrate through blood vessels and into muscles. Once they are in the muscles, the worms encapsulate themselves in the muscle tissues, where they can live for a long time.
Symptoms of Trichinosis: When you become infected, you may or may not have symptoms. However, within a week of the initial infection , the larvae will enter your muscle tissue. Once this happens, symptoms often become apparent.
Symptoms of trichinosis that can occur while the larvae are in the intestines include:
- abdominal cramps
- Fatigue or low energy
Symptoms of trichinosis that can occur after the larvae enter your muscle tissue include:
- facial swelling
- a high fever
- Muscle aches
- light sensitivity
- Persistent eye infections
- unexplained eruptions
Trichinosis Treatments: Unfortunately, muscle worm infection cannot be cured. The doctor will direct treatment to the symptoms. The earlier treatment is started, the better the prognosis. Doctors usually prescribe a combination of the following drugs:
- antiparasitic drug;
- steroids to control inflammation ;
- painkillers for muscle pain.