(also known as trichinellosis, it is caused by eating raw or undercooked pork and wild game products)

Trichinosis is the pig's reply to proponents of porcophagy.
—Ambrose Bierce, The Devils' Dictionary
A disease caused by trichinae, 1866, coined by Bernhard Rupprecht (1815-77) from trichina (1835), from Modern Latin, genus name of certain minute parasitic worms, from Greek trikhine, feminine of trikhinos, "of or like hair", from thrix (genitive of trikhos) "hair".

Eating undercooked or raw pork or wild game is an invitation to hair-like worms in your body

  • Anyone who eats raw or undercooked meats, particularly pork, bear, wild feline (such as a cougar), fox, dog, wolf, horse, seal, or walrus, is at risk for acquiring trichinosis.
  • Trichinosis infection is not spread to others and only occurs by eating raw or undercooked meat containing Trichinella worms.
  • If you think you have trichinosis, see your health care provider who can order tests and treat the symptoms of trichinosis infection.
  • If you have eaten raw or undercooked meat, you should tell your health care provider.
  • Trichinosis can be diagnosed with a blood test or muscle biopsy.
  • Several safe prescription drugs; such as, mebendazole (VERMOX) and thiabendazole (MINTAZOL) are available to treat trichinosis.
  • Treatment should begin as soon as possible because these drugs are only effective against the worms while they are still within the intestinal tract. Once the worms are in the larval stage encysted in muscles, it is too late.
  • The decision to treat is based upon the history of exposure to raw or undercooked meat and/or the laboratory test results.
  • Most people with symptoms from a light infection fortunately need only bed rest and drugs; such as, acetaminophen (TYLENOL) or ibuprofen (ADVIL, MOTRIN, NUPRIN) to treat the fever and pain.
  • The following are recommendations for the prevention of trichinosis:

  • Cook meat products until the juices run clear or to an internal temperature of 170 degrees F (77 degrees C).
  • Freeze pork less than 6 inches (15 cm) thick for 20 days at 5 degrees F (-15 degrees C) to kill any worms.
  • Cook wild game meat thoroughly. Freezing wild game meats, unlike freezing pork products, even for long periods of time, may not effectively kill all worms.
  • Cook all meat fed to pigs or other wild animals and do not allow hogs to eat uncooked carcasses of other animals, including rats (which may be infected with trichinosis).
  • Clean meat grinders thoroughly if you prepare your own ground meats.
  • Curing (salting), drying, smoking, or microwaving meat does NOT consistently kill the infectious worms.
  • Trichinosis was once very common in the US; however, infection is now relatively rare.
  • From 1982-1986, an annual average of 57 cases per year were reported.
  • The number of cases has decreased because of legislation prohibiting the feeding of raw meat garbage to hogs, commercial and home freezing of pork, and the public awareness of the danger of eating raw or undercooked pork products.
  • Cases are less commonly associated with pork products and are more often associated with eating raw or undercooked wild game meats.
  • Trichinosis report is repeated in a shorter version

  • Trichinosis is caused by eating raw or undercooked pork and wild game.
  • The contaminated meat is infected with the larvae of a worm called Trichinella spiralis.
  • The initial symptoms of trichinosis are abdominal discomfort, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue and fever.
  • The severity of symptoms depends on the number of infectious worms consumed in the meat.
  • Never eat raw or undercooked pork or wild game.
  • If you think you may have trichinosis, seek medical attention.

  • —This article is based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP).

Pointing to a page about a kleptomaniac The tricho- unit of words.