Nearly 50 sick with Trichinella infections in Argentina

Nearly 50 sick with Trichinella infections in Argentina

by Sue Jones
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Almost 50 cases of Trichinella infection have been detected in a region of Argentina.

The Ministry of Health of Córdoba is now reporting 46 cases of trichinosis, which is up from the 13 infections the agency reported earlier this month.

Most of those ill are from Córdoba but five live in Santa Rosa de Calamuchita and four in Deán Funes. Patients have been treated in different healthcare centers.

The Ministry of Health told people to take care when eating or selling pork products, adding that symptoms can initially be confused with the flu or COVID-19. The agency also warned against the consumption of raw meats or homemade sausages that have not been inspected prior to processing.

Public health officials urged people to check the label on all purchased pork products for information including the brand, company name, establishment authorization number, storage conditions and date of manufacture and expiry.

Patient interviews confirmed the consumption of salami and chorizo but no brand has been identified.

Origin of the food could not be established and investigations are ongoing, said authorities.

Past outbreak and about Trichinella
In late 2021, Córdoba had almost 250 cases of trichinosis linked to eating pork products.

Investigations found a link to pork meat, sausages and salami from different businesses in Villa del Totoral. In some cases, this meat was resold to other vendors. The presence of Trichinella Spiralis larvae was confirmed in one test from seized products.

Trichinellosis, or trichinosis, is a disease transmitted by eating raw or undercooked pork contaminated with the parasite Trichinella, which is not visible to the naked eye.

Initial symptoms of infection in people are nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, fever, and abdominal discomfort. Headaches, fevers, chills, cough, swelling of the face and eyes, aching joints and muscle pains. Itchy skin, diarrhea or constipation may follow. Patients may have difficulty coordinating movements, and have heart and breathing problems.

Abdominal symptoms can occur one to two days after infection. Further symptoms usually start two to eight weeks after eating contaminated meat. Freezing, curing or salting, drying, smoking, or microwaving meat may not kill the organism. The best way to prevent trichinellosis is to cook meat to a temperature of 71 degrees C (160 degrees F).

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