More than 650 potential Trichinella infections have been reported in an Argentinian province so far this year.

Health officials in Buenos Aires recorded 651 suspected cases, of which 399 are confirmed, 14 are probable, and 212 remain under study.

Seven trichinosis (or trichinellosis) outbreaks have occurred, six of them small, but one stretching through 12 municipalities.

Six cases were reported in an outbreak in Chivilcoy, and five were confirmed. In Colonel Dorrego, eight cases were recorded, and one was confirmed. In Ayacucho, 16 people were sick, and 15 were confirmed. In Tres Arroyos, 10 cases were reported, an outbreak in Olavarría affected 15 people, and another in La Plata had four cases.

In the large outbreak, 531 cases were reported, and 361 were confirmed. Six outbreaks were due to the consumption of meat products after domestic slaughter, while the significant incident was linked to contaminated commercially available products.

For the same period in 2022, 263 suspected cases were reported, of which 72 were confirmed. Nine outbreaks of trichinosis were recorded.

National picture
Trichinosis is transmitted by eating raw or undercooked pork contaminated with the parasite Trichinella.

In September, the National Service for Agri-Food Health and Quality (Senasa) issued advice about the main measures and recommendations to prevent trichinosis. The agency said producers must ensure their establishments have adequate hygienic conditions and animals have the correct diet.

The primary source of infection is consumption of meat from domestic pigs, although it can also be caused by eating meat from other species, such as wild boar. As symptoms are absent in the animal, laboratory analysis after slaughter is required.

Up to mid-September, 433 suspected infections plus 387 confirmed and probable cases had been recorded in 2023 across the country. Thirteen outbreaks were reported, with five from Buenos Aires, four in Córdoba, two from Mendoza, and one in Santa Fe and Neuquén. They caused 341 cases and 42 hospitalizations but no deaths.

Outbreak in another province
Elsewhere in the country, the Ministry of Health has revealed an outbreak of trichinosis in Córdoba.

There are 59 cases, and one person has been hospitalized in the Marcos Juárez region. Epidemiological interviews identified the consumption of pork and salami, purchased in different local businesses, as a probable source of infection.

Authorities warned people about the risks of consuming, selling, or buying pork of dubious origin or that had not undergone an official inspection. Controls identified the production and sale of Sutera brand items made with meat that did not come from an authorized establishment. Authorities ordered a withdrawal of these products.

Initial symptoms of infection 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 have 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 trichinosis is to cook meat to a temperature of 71 degrees C (160 degrees F).

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