is a parasitic infection caused by eating food contaminated
with the larvae (a developing phase) of a worm called Trichinella.
Persons with trichinosis usually have nausea, diarrhea,
vomiting, fever and abdominal discomfort. Headache, fever,
chills, cough, eye swelling, aching joints and muscle pain,
itchy skin, diarrhea, or constipation follow the first symptoms.
If the infection is heavy, patients may experience difficulty
coordinating movements, and have heart and breathing problems.
In severe cases, death can occur.
can get trichinosis if they eat raw or undercooked pork
and wild game products infected with Trichinella.
Infection occurs worldwide, but is most common in areas
where raw or undercooked pork, such as ham or sausage, is
is trichinosis spread?
get trichinosis by eating food contaminated with Trichinella.
The infection cannot be spread from one person to another.
soon after exposure do symptoms appear?
symptoms can occur 1-2 days after infection. Further symptoms
usually start 2-8 weeks later. Symptoms may range from very
mild to severe depending on the number of infectious worms
is trichinosis diagnosed?
is diagnosed by a blood test or muscle biopsy.
is the treatment for trichinosis?
safe and effective prescription drugs are available to treat
trichinosis. Treatment should begin as soon as possible.
can trichinosis be prevented?
meat products until the juices run clear or to an internal
temperature of 170o F.
pork products less than 6 inches thick for 20 days at
5o F to kill any worms.
wild game meat thoroughly. Freezing wild game meats,
unlike freezing pork products, even for long periods
of time, may not effectively kill all worms.
all meat or garbage that is fed to pigs or other livestock.
not allow hogs to eat uncooked carcasses of other animals,
including rats, which may be infected with trichinosis.
meat grinders thoroughly if you prepare your own ground
(salting), drying, smoking, or microwaving meat does
not consistently kill infective worms.
can I get more information?
local health department listed in your telephone directory.
Utah Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology (801)
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
BUREAU OF EPIDEMIOLOGY
fact sheet was based on the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention's Trichinosis sheet (last updated 2/2/98).