250 sick in Argentinian Trichinella outbreak

A province in Argentina has reported almost 250 cases of trichinosis linked to eating pork products.

Health officials in Córdoba revealed that 244 cases of trichinosis had been registered in Totoral, Colón, Unión, Capital and Río Cuarto.

Trichinellosis, or trichinosis, is a disease transmitted by eating raw or undercooked pork contaminated with the parasite Trichinella.

Large rise in number sick

The Ministry of Health of Córdoba, said almost 200 of the sick people live in the town of Villa del Totoral. Patients were treated in different health care centers. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the National Service of Agrifood Health and Quality (SENASA) are monitoring the outbreak.

Investigations have found a link to pork meat, sausages and salami from different businesses in Villa del Totoral. In some cases, the resale of this meat to other merchants was identified.

Seizure of products was carried out in two businesses and the presence of Trichinella Spiralis larvae was confirmed in one test with other results pending.

An earlier warning revealed 22 people were sick in Villa del Totoral and the city of Córdoba.

Authorities seized about 800 kilograms — more than 1,700 pounds — of sausages and pork in a store in Villa del Totoral because of a lack of traceability documents.

Cases in Buenos Aires

In the province of Buenos Aires, eight cases of trichinosis had previously been confirmed in the town of Cañuelas with another five probable. Officials in Chascomus, also in Buenos Aires, reported some infections in the city and a number of people have fallen ill in the city of Chacabuco after eating sausages.

Initial symptoms of infection in people are nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, fever, and abdominal discomfort. Headaches, fevers, chills, cough, swelling of the face and eyes, aching joints and muscle pains, itchy skin, diarrhea or constipation may follow. Patients may have difficulty coordinating movements, and heart and breathing problems.

Abdominal symptoms can occur one to two days after infection. Further symptoms usually start two to eight weeks after eating contaminated meat. Freezing, curing or salting, drying, smoking, or microwaving meat may not kill the organism. The best way to prevent trichinellosis is to cook meat to a temperature of 71 degrees C (160 degrees F).

E. coli in Córdoba

The Ministry of Health of Córdoba has also reported 16 cases and two deaths due to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) caused by E. coli so far this year. There were 21 cases in 2020 and 25 in both 2019 and 2018.

About 5 to 10 percent of those diagnosed with E. coli infections develop a potentially life-threatening kidney failure complication, known as HUS.

In 2021, 15 patients were children under 5 years old, and the age group most affected was 2 to 3 year olds with seven cases. Ten of those reported were female and six male. Eight sick people lived in the city of Córdoba, and eight in other locations in the province.

Officials urged people to pay attention when handling food, wash hands frequently and use safe drinking water.

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Source: 250 sick in Argentinian Trichinella outbreak

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