Trichinosis – a parasitic disease
Roundworms cause this disease. They are mainly caused if someone consumes encysted Trichinella roundworm. The best way of preventing this disease is eating meat after heating them in at a particular temperature for killing those parasites.
After eating undercooked meat, the larvae of the parasites are released from their shells due to exposure to pepsin and stomach acid. Then they enter the small intestine and develop into adult worms. Diagnosis is made after examining the symptoms. Biopsy samples of encysted or non-encysted larvae samples will be perfect for diagnosis.
Infection can happen in two phases. In the enteral stage, the intestine is affected, and the parenteral stage occurs outside the intestine.
Symptoms of the enteral stage are:
Symptoms of the parenteral stage are:
• Muscle pain
• Swelling of the eyes
In some cases, enough damage is caused producing neurological deficits due to worms invading the nervous system.
There are various species known, who cause this disease. These worms enter the human body through undercooked meat and foods, which are not properly cooked. Then they spread to the intestine and in the case of larvae, they come out of their shell due to the acids present in the stomach and then invade the intestine where they grow.
Early treatment is better in the case of this disease, which decreases risks of developing diseases. Primary treatment involves the use of anthelmintic like mebendazole and albendazole. This reduces the possibilities of larval encystation. These drugs prevent the development of recently hatched larvae.
Secondary treatments include giving steroids like Prednisone after infection. They are used for relieving the patient from muscle pains, which are associated with larval migration. There are presently no such vaccines for trichinosis. Experiments and studies are going on for developing a possible vaccine for future prevention of this harmful disease.
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