Trichinosis, also called trichinellosis, is a type of parasitic infection caused by a species of roundworms known as Trichinella. These roundworms are carried by animals that are carnivores, including pigs, bears, boars, and foxes. Mild cases of trichinosis may not produce any symptoms. If symptoms do occur, the first ones are likely to be abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.
These often begin within one to two days of infection, and after a week of infection, more advanced symptoms such as a high fever, muscle pain, headaches, and sensitivity to light may develop. Some patients could also experience swelling of the face and eyelids and conjunctivitis. To diagnose trichinosis, a blood test is normally all that is needed. Sometimes, a muscle biopsy may be useful as well. Treatment includes anti-parasitic medication and pain relievers, and some patients may also need corticosteroids.
Time In Rural Areas
Patients who spend time in rural areas are known to be at an elevated risk of trichinosis, and the disease is more prevalent in rural communities. Rural areas tend to be agricultural, and numerous hog-farming operations may be located in these areas. In particular, patients who work in the hog farming industry are at an elevated risk for trichinosis because the parasite is most commonly found in pigs.
To decrease the risk of trichinosis, individuals who work in hog farming or other livestock industries are encouraged to follow all workplace safety precautions. Those who live in rural areas with large bear and wild boar populations are advised to avoid eating bear and boar meat as these carry a high risk of a trichinosis infection.