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Trichinosis: symptoms in humans and treatment

trichinosis Trichinosis is a disease of a group of helminthiases, which is caused by the causative agent of a worm of small size, twisted into a spiral.To defeat this kind of helminths can animals and humans, trichinosis is common in wild boars, wolves, badgers and bears, and is found in domestic pigs, if the latter were fed by meat of fallen animals.

The disease under consideration is quite widespread among people, and there are reasons for this:

  • the human body has a high susceptibility to the causative agent;
  • unstable immunity, which leads to repeated infection;
  • Trichinella( worm-causative agent of trichinosis) are common in all climatic zones;
  • doctors often register group illnesses - for example, if the whole family was feeding on contaminated meat.

Note: over the past few years scientists have discovered and isolated new species of trichinella that are parasitic in birds, not just in mammals.

Table of contents: Trichinosis sources Trichinosis syndrome Diagnostic measures Principles of trichinosis treatment Possible complications Prophylactic measures

Sources of trichinosis

Trichinosis infection can only be ingested orally, that is, with eating.The larvae of the examined helminth enter the human body when they use infected meat of animals.Especially great danger in terms of development of the considered disease is dried or not completely cooked / roasted meat.


There is a definite algorithm for the development of trichinosis in the human body after infection:

  • One hour and a half since infection
    The larva during this time has time to get rid of the capsule, penetrate into the mucous membrane of the stomach or duodenum.Can be introduced into the connective tissue located above the duodenum.
  • First day
    The larva turns into a full-fledged, mature helminth worm.Such growth of the parasite can occur within two days.
  • Third and fourth days
    Female worm becomes sexually mature and already lays eggs.The number of eggs laid is simply awesome - each female helminth lays 100-2000 eggs.In the same period, the larvae can enter the blood vessels, which causes their penetration into muscle tissue with blood flow.
  • 42-56 days
    During this time period adult, sexually mature female Trichinella lays the larvae.
  • 17-18 days from the moment the eggs are laid by the female
    The larvae that have got together with the bloodstream into the muscles mature and become infectious.
  • 3-4 weeks after laying eggs of adult female
    Each larva is covered with a capsule.Only a year later, the capsule is calcified.

Note: a Trichinella larva in the form of a capsule can persist in the human musculature for years.According to the latest data, this period is 10-40 years!

Symptoms of trichinosis

Actually, the larva of the causative agent of the disease under consideration does not cause any pathological changes in the body - it "lives" in the muscle tissue without causing it any harm.But the proteins that make up the body of the larva are powerful allergens for the body - a strong allergic reaction progresses in the body, resulting in pathological damage to the joints and blood vessels.

The incubation period of trichinosis lasts up to 30 days, and during this period the infected person does not notice any symptoms or signs of deterioration of health.This disease can occur in mild and severe form.If a person has a severe form of helminthiosis, the incubation period can be only 5 days.

After the incubation period, the acute phase of trichinosis begins, and it will be characterized by the following symptoms:

  1. Hyperthermia.Body temperature can rise to a low-grade reading( 37 degrees), fluctuations will be a maximum of 1 degree throughout the day.
  2. Edema.Most often they appear on the face, but can be present on the lower limbs, the body and shoulders.Their appearance provokes an allergic reaction of the body, which develops "in response" to finding a parasite.In this case, the appearance of the patient with trichinosis becomes characteristic, doctors call him "frog face".
  3. Pain in the muscles.As a rule, this syndrome begins to disturb the patient for 1-3 days - first the muscles of the lower extremities begin to ache( feet, legs, thighs), then unpleasant sensations spread to the buttocks and muscles of the abdominal press.The general spread of pain in the muscles affects the tongue, neck, and upper limbs.It is worth noting that pain is of high intensity, amplified by feeling the muscles or moving.Doctors know for sure that the earlier pains arise in the muscle tissues, the harder it will be for trichinosis.
  4. Rashes on the skin.They can have different appearance - for example, by the type of urticaria, in the form of itchy blisters and papular rash.

Note: in the first 7 days after infection, trichinosis may manifest as digestive system disorders( loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea / vomiting, colic).


This disease is often "masked" for myositis or a common cold.Therefore, patients begin to use known drugs to relieve the condition.And really, there comes a significant relief, the symptoms gradually come to naught - this occurs on the 17th day from the moment of appearance of the first symptoms.This does not mean that trichinosis has been cured, just newly deferred Trichinella larvae consult, but continue to pose a danger to the infected.

Diagnostic measures

Of course, an infectious disease doctor can diagnose the first examination of a patient, given his complaints and appearance. But in any case, for confirmation, the specialist will prescribe a specific examination:

  • general blood test;
  • serological examination of blood;
  • allergic tests.

Trichinella If the trichinosis can not be detected by all of the above methods, but the symptoms of the disease are clearly present, the physician can prescribe a biopsy of the muscle tissue.This procedure is diagnostic, using a thin needle to take a microscopic fragment of muscle tissue, which is then studied under a microscope.

If you have left the meat that the patient used before infecting Trichinella, then it should be sent to the study.

Principles of treatment of trichinosis

Therapy of the considered disease is carried out only in a hospital - trichinosis can at any time develop into a severe form of the current and provoke the development of complications. But even such measures do not always cope with the pathology - according to statistics up to 30% of patients with diagnosed trichinosis are killed.

First of all, the doctor will prescribe anthelmintic drugs - for example, Mebendazole, Albendazole or Vermox.Specific preparation and dosage / duration of admission is established by the attending physician.Independently, such drugs are strictly forbidden to use, since they have many contraindications and have some toxicity.

Mandatory symptomatic therapy:

  1. For severe muscle pains, the patient is shown a strict bed rest.After getting rid of the helminth, physiotherapy and massage are prescribed to him, which will help restore the work of the affected muscles.
  2. In case of persistent fever, antipyretic agents are prescribed.
  3. If against the background of an allergic reaction in the body any inflammatory processes developed, the doctor will select medicines with anti-inflammatory action.
  4. Often experts recommend that in the treatment of trichinosis, hormone drugs are taken - they depress the immune system and significantly reduce allergy manifestations.

With correct and timely treatment, recovery occurs within 5-6 weeks after the first signs of trichinosis appear.

Possible complications of

If trichinosis was severe or the patient was not provided with timely care, then there is a risk of complications:

  1. Hepatitis.This is an inflammatory process in the liver, in which the immune cells of the organ are involved.
  2. Pneumonia.Inflammation is caused by congestion in the lung tissue of eosonophils - allergic cells.
  3. Pleurisy.It develops against the background of pneumonia after trichinosis, the pathology with its symptoms resembles bronchial asthma.
  4. Myocarditis.Inflammation of the heart muscle, which specifically in this case is allergic.It is with the development of myocarditis as a complication of trichinosis, most often patients die.
  5. Jade.This inflammation of the kidneys, which, with rapid and severe development, can result in renal insufficiency, a person becomes disabled for life, and in some cases a fatal outcome awaits him.
  6. Meningoencephalitis.Pathology, having an inflammatory origin and affecting the brain and its membranes.


To avoid contamination with the helminths concerned, you simply need to adhere to the recommendations of the physicians:

  1. Trichinella Meat of domestic animals( especially pork) must be subjected to thorough, complete heat treatment.A piece of meat inside should be heated to 47 degrees - this temperature is able to destroy the larvae of Trichinella.But if the animal suffers from trichinosis for too long, the larvae in its meat will already be calcified and no, even the highest temperatures, it will not be destroyed.
  2. More effective prevention is the freezing of meat.If you freeze it at 15 degrees below zero for 20 days or at 20 degrees below zero for three days, the Trichinella larvae die.
  3. Meat should be cooked in pieces no more than 8 cm, and the cooking time in this way should be at least 1.5 hours.
  4. You can consume fat only after heating.
  5. Categorically it is not recommended to eat smoked and jerky, raw lard, homemade sausages, steak with blood, smoked sausage and pelmeni / belyashi / cutlets.

Trichinosis is quite a dangerous and common disease.Washing hands and observing the rules of hygiene will not save you from infection, so you need to know what kind of meat and how to eat without fear of getting sick.

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