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Scientist in the Lab


March 26, 2018

Oklahoma Outbreak Alert
Trichinellosis (also known as Trichinosis)
Date: March 26, 2018. 

As of February 28, 2018, there has been a cluster of 13 cases reported in Oklahoma. According to the Oklahoma Department of Health, only two total cases have been reported since 1978. The reported incidence of Trichinellosis nationwide has been declining, with fewer than 15 total cases annually reported from 2008-2015, the majority occurring in Texas and Illinois. No specific county in Oklahoma or source of exposure was identified in the current Oklahoma outbreak. This may also be a result of an influx of Texas population (see map 2015), or previous underreporting of cases from previous years.

Risk factors include: 
-Eating raw or undercooked game (pork products including wild boar, commercial and farm raised pork; non-pork product include deer and hamburger) 
-Travel to foreign country

Symptoms of Trichinellosis* include: 
-Muscle pain 
-Swelling of the upper eyelids 
-Headache, fever, sensitivity to light, thirst, sweating, chills, cough, and itchy skin 
*Caused by Trichinella species of roundworms. Potentially fatal disease.

How to prevent Trichinellosis (from CDC:
-Cook potentially infected meat products until no longer pink inside or to an internal temperature of 160° F.
-Freeze pork less than 6 inches thick for 30 days at 5° F to kill worms.
-Cook wild game thoroughly. Unlike species found in pork, some Trichinella in wild animals can survive freezing.
-Do not allow hogs to eat uncooked carcasses of other animals, including rats, which may be infected with trichinellosis.
-Clean meat grinders thoroughly between each use and avoid mixing ground meats from different animals.


Public Health Information and Analytics-Oklahoma: News & Resources
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