b. Life Cycle of Trichina Parasite. Briefly, the life cycle of the Trichina parasite
is as follows:
Adult worms live in the gastrointestinal tract of the host (man or animal).
The female worm passes larvae, which penetrate the intestinal wall.
The larvae are then carried throughout the body by the bloodstream, and
thus may be found in any organ of the body.
When they reach muscle--principally the heart, tongue, diaphragm, and
skeletal muscles--the larvae encyst, where they remain viable for months.
When meat containing viable encysted larvae is eaten, the cyst is
dissolved by the digestive juices, thus releasing the larvae, which grow to maturity and
reproduce in the intestines.
c. Incubation Period. The incubation period is from 2 to 28 days after the
ingestion of infected meat, with 9 days the usual.
d. Signs/Symptoms. Symptoms include:
Swelling of upper eyelids
Others are widely varied both in-kind and severity
The disease occasionally results in death.
e. Location. Trichinosis occurs worldwide and is more widespread in the
countries where hogs are commonly fed garbage containing meat scraps, than in
countries where hogs are raised principally on root vegetables.
f. Control Measures. Control measures include thorough cooking of pork and
meat from wild animals before consumption, and boiling garbage before feeding it to
hogs. Rodent control is also important, since rats and other rodents are natural animal
g. Treatment. Since most cases recover without treatment, treatment is
supportive. A drug such as mebendazole or thiabendazole may be prescribed.