Trichinosis: symptoms in humans and treatment

Trichinosis is a disease helminthiasis group, which is the causative agent of a worm of small size, twisted into a spiral.

To hit this type of worms can animals and humans, widespread trichinosis from wild boars, wolves, badgers and bears, and is found in domestic pigs if they eat the meat of fallen animals.

Please note: over the past few years scientists have discovered and a new species of Trichinella, which are parasitic in birds, not just mammals.

Considering the disease is quite common among people and there are reasons for that:

  • the human body has a high susceptibility to the pathogen;
  • fragile immune system, which leads to re-infection;
  • Trichinella (the worm that causes trichinosis) are distributed in all climatic zones;
  • often doctors are registering a group of diseases – for example, if the whole family ate infected meat.

Sources of trichinosis

Infected with trichinosis can only be by the oral route, that is, when the consumption of food. The larvae of the worms enter the human body when they eat the meat of infected animals. Especially great is the danger in terms of development of the considered disease is cured, or not fully cooked/roasted meat.

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

  • An hour and a half from the moment of infection
    The larva during this time manages to free himself from the capsule, embedded in the mucous membrane of the stomach or duodenum. Can be embedded in connective tissue, located above the duodenum.
  • The first day
    The larva turns into a full-fledged, Mature worm is a helminth. This growth of the parasite can occur within two days.
  • The third and fourth day
    The female worm becomes sexually Mature and lays eggs already. The number of eggs laid just frightening – each female lays 100-2000 helminth eggs. In the same period, the larvae can enter the blood vessels, which causes their penetration into the muscle tissue with blood flow.
  • 42-56 days
    During this period of time of an adult, sexually Mature, the female lays Trichinella larvae.
  • 17-18 days from the laying of eggs by female worm
    The larvae are caught along with the blood flow to the muscles Mature and become infectious.
  • 3-4 week from the time of oviposition of adult female worm
    Each larva is covered with a capsule. Only a year is obyzvestvleniya capsules.

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

The symptoms of trichinosis

Actually the larva of the worm of the pathogen under consideration of the disease does not cause any pathological changes in the body – it lives in the muscle tissue without causing her any harm. But proteins, which compose the body of the larvae, are for the body potent allergens in the body progresses a severe allergic reaction, resulting in pathological lesions of joints and blood vessels.

The incubation period of trichinosis lasts up to 30 days, and during this period infected person doesn’t observe any symptoms or signs of ill health. Considering the disease can occur in mild and severe form. If a person has a severe form of helminthiasis, the incubation period may be only 5 days.

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

  1. Hyperthermia. Body temperature can rise to subfebrile conditions (37 degrees), variations will be a maximum of 1 degree during the day.
  2. Swelling. They often appear on the face, but can appear on the lower limbs, the body and shoulders. Their appearance provokes an allergic reaction that develops in response to the presence of the parasite. The external view of a patient with trichinosis gets expressed is typical, doctors call it a “frog face”.
  3. Pain in the muscles. As a rule, this syndrome begins to bother the patient for 1-3 days first begin to hurt the muscles of the lower extremities (feet, shanks, thighs), then the unpleasant sensations extend to the buttocks and abdominal muscles. The General distribution of pain in the muscles affecting the tongue, neck, and upper limbs. It should be noted that pain have a high intensity, aggravated by the feeling of muscles or movements. Doctors know that the earlier experiencing pain in muscle tissue, the harder it will leak trichinosis.
  4. Rashes on the skin. They can have different appearance – for example, the type of hives, the itchy wheals and papular rash.

Please note: in the first 7 days after infection trichinosis can occur in the digestive system disorders (loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, colic).

Considering the disease is often “disguised” under the sclera or the common cold. Therefore, patients begin to use the well-known drugs for the relief of the condition. And indeed, there comes a great relief, the symptoms gradually go away – this happens on the 17th day from the onset of the first symptoms. This does not mean that trichinosis cured, just delayed again the larvae of Trichinella capsulitis, but continue to pose a danger to the infected.

Diagnostic measures

Of course, the infectious disease physician can make a diagnosis on the first examination of the patient, given his complaint and appearance. But in any case, to confirm it, the specialist will prescribe specific examination:

If trichinosis is not possible to identify all of the above methods, but the symptoms are clearly present, then your doctor may prescribe a biopsy of muscle tissue. This diagnostic procedure using a thin needle withdraws a microscopic fragment of muscle tissue, which is then examined under a microscope.

If there is meat, which the patient had used before infection with Trichinella, then it should be sent for study.

The principles of treatment of trichinosis

Therapy consider cancer is performed only in a hospital – trichinosis may at any time develop into a severe form of the flow and provoke the development of complications. But even these measures do not always cope with the disease, according to statistics, 30% of patients diagnosed with trichinosis die.

First the doctor will prescribe de-worming drugs, e.g., Mebendazole, Albendazole or Vermoxum. Specific medication and dosage/length of treatment by a doctor. Independently of such drugs is strictly forbidden to use, because they have a lot of contraindications and have some toxicity.

Be sure to carry out a course of symptomatic therapy:

  1. Severe pain in the muscles of the patient shows a strict bed rest. After getting rid of the helminth is assigned physiotherapy and massage that will help to restore the affected muscles.
  2. With a steady fever are appointed antipyretics.
  3. If the background of allergic reactions in the body developed any inflammation, the doctor will choose the drugs with anti-inflammatory action.
  4. Often recommended in the treatment of trichinosis to take hormonal drugs – they inhibit the immune system and significantly reduce Allergy symptoms.

When properly and timely treatment, recovery occurs within 5-6 weeks after the first signs of trichinosis.

Possible complications

If trichinosis was leaking severe, or the patient was not provided with timely assistance, there is a danger of complications:

  1. Hepatitis. Is an inflammatory process in the liver that involves the immune cells of the body.
  2. Pneumonia. Inflammation is caused by accumulation in the lung tissue of eosinophila – allergic cells.
  3. Pleurisy. Develops on the background of pneumonia after trichinosis pathology their symptoms reminiscent of asthma.
  4. Myocarditis. Inflammation of the heart muscle, specifically in this case has an allergic origin. It was during the development of myocarditis as a complication of trichinosis is most often killed patients.
  5. Jade. It is the inflammation of the kidneys, which is under rapid and heavy development can result in renal failure, a person becomes disabled for life, and in some cases it is waiting for death.
  6. Meningoencephalitis. Pathology having an inflammatory origin, and affects the brain and its membranes.
Preventive measures

To avoid infection before the worms, you just need to follow the recommendations of doctors:

  1. Meat of domestic animals (especially pork) should be subjected to thorough, full heat treatment. A piece of meat inside needs to heat up to 47 degrees – this temperature is able to destroy the larvae of Trichinella. But if an animal is sick with trichinosis too long, then the larvae in her meat will have obyzvestvleniya and none, even the highest temperatures, not destroying it.
  2. More effective measures to prevent freezing of meat. If you freeze it at 15 degrees below zero for 20 days at a temperature of 20 degrees below zero for three days, the Trichinella larvae are killed.
  3. Meat you need to cook pieces of no more than 8 cm, and the cooking time in this way shall not be less than 1.5 hours.
  4. The fat can be consumed only after heating.
  5. It is strongly recommended not to eat smoked and cured meat, raw bacon, homemade sausages, steak with blood, smoked sausage and ravioli/meat patties/burgers.

Trichinosis is a dangerous and common disease. Hand washing and good hygiene will not protect from infection, so you need to know what kind of meat and how to eat without fear of getting sick.

One thought on “Trichinosis: symptoms in humans and treatment

  1. You make some thought-provoking points within this entry, but aren’t you generalising something crucial?

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