Trichinosis
(Trichinellosis)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Trichinosis facts

  • 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.

What is trichinosis?

Comment on this

Trichinosis is a disease caused by parasitic roundworms (nematodes) that can infect and damage body tissues. Nematodes are a major division of the helminth family of parasitic worms (for example, Trichinella spiralis). When ingested, these parasitic nematodes can pass through the intestinal tract to invade other tissues, such as muscle, where they persist. Trichinosis is also termed trichinellosis, trichiniasis, or trichinelliasis. Trichinosis is not trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted disease caused by the Trichomonas vaginalis parasite.

What are symptoms of trichinosis?

Trichinosis is usually characterized by two phases: the initial phase (intestinal) of abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and nausea that begins one to two days after ingestion and the second phase (muscle) of muscle aches, itching, fever, chills, and joint pains that begins about two to eight weeks after ingestion. In addition, there can be "splinter" hemorrhages under fingernails and eye inflammation (conjunctivitis).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/25/2013

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Trichinosis - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms experienced with trichinosis in you or someone you know?
Trichinosis - Causes Question: How did you acquire trichinosis?
Trichinosis - Treatment Question: What forms of treatment, including medication, have been used to treat trichinosis in you or someone you know?

Roundworms...Of Kings and Worms or How Kings, Commoners, and Cats Are the Same Food

King Richard III remains were recently discovered in Leicester, England, in 2012. While examining his remains, researchers discovered roundworm eggs. They sought to determine if he had been infected with the parasitic roundworms.


STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!