August 7, 2020

There’s Worms in That There Meat, Trichinellosis Outbreaks From 2008-2012

Anyone looking for another good reason not to eat raw or undercooked meat should check out the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) recent report on trichinellosis, a disease caused by eating raw or undercooked meat that has round worm larvae in it. For those with limited time, here’s the condensed version.

Trichinellosis-Between 2008–2012, 90 cases of trichinellosis, including five outbreaks, occurred in the U.S. Most occurred in the Pacific region including 35 cases in California and six in Alaska. While California was the state with the most cases, accounting for 42 percent of all cases, Alaska had the highest mean annual incidence reporting 4.1 cases per 1 million population, 40 times the national mean of 0.1 cases per 1 million population.

The case patients ranged in age from 1 to 72 years old and most of them, 68 percent, were male. They experienced symptoms including muscle pain, increased white cell count, fever and swelling of the eye tissues. No deaths were reported.

Pork was the most common meat source. Others included bear meat, deer meat, and ground beef. The five outbreaks occurred in Alaska, California, Illinois, and Minnesota. Bear meat was the source in three of the outbreaks.


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