S: MAYO – http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/trichinosis/basics/definition/con-20027095 (last access: 6 December 2014). SYMC – http://www.symcat.com/conditions/trichinosis (last access: 6 December 2014).
N: 1. “disease caused by trichinae,” 1864, coined by Bernhard Rupprecht (1815-1877) by 1864 from trichina (1835), Modern Latin, genus name of the minute, hair-like parasitic worms that cause it, from Greek trikhine, fem. of trikhinos “of or like hair,” from thrix (genitive trikhos) “hair.”
2. In 1835, two men by the name of Sir Richard Owen and Sir James Paget were working in the laboratory in London. Sir Paget was just a first-year medical student at the time, and was under the direction of Sir Owen during an autopsy. Both of the gentlemen observed the mass of worms that lined the diaphragm of the cadaver. With his scientific excitement, Sir Paget decide to collect some of this tissue to observe the worms a bit more closely. However, without alerting his student, Sir Owen, decided to report to the zoological society in London about the findings of this new parasite, providing its present day name. What is interesting is that the day after the discovery, Sir Paget decided to write to his brother about the new scientific observation. If this was not the case, the discovery of Trichinosis would be credited to only Sir Owens.
3. Trichinosis begins its infection with the larvae of T. spiralis. There is the direct transmission with the current host to the other by ingesting this larvae. The targets for this parasite are usually in bears, rats and also in pigs, who are fed garbage that has not been properly treated or the remains from the slaughterhouse. When the host involve humans, the cause of infection is due to the consumption of pork, specifically that is uncooked.
4. The incubation period of T. spiralis last between 1 to 2 weeks. The first week after ingesting the parasite, the human host may experience nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pains. More clinical signs continue to develop, ranging from the second week up to 2 months after ingestion, giving the larvae the opportunity to circulate and infect more of the tissues within the body. These signs include fever, myalgia, which is muscle pain, conjuctival hemorrhage and periorbital edema.
5. Immunological tests also provide scientists with results of a positive test after two weeks as well. Tests known as ELISA and counterimmunoelectrophoresis can detect the antibodies after 12 days. Another examination is known as bentonite flocculation and it displays a positive reading after three weeks of infection and remains in that state during the two to three month recovery period. The best format in diagnosis is performing tissue biopsies.
6. The treatment for trichinosis is not excellent, but there are some options to pursue. Different options include corticosteroids for the more seriously ill patients which alleviate the inflammatory pain experienced, thiabendazole (orally every day for about one week), flubendazole, and albendazole. Albendazole has been know to work just as effectively as thiabendazole, and is better to use in terms of any side effects of the patient.
7. Legislature has required that pigs should be fed with treated garbage, that which is cooked. The proper way to prevent the spread of trichinosis is properly cooking pork and other meat before consumption. The USDA recommends heating it to more than 137 degrees F, and storing at low temperatures of -15 degrees Celsius in the refrigerator to about -37 degrees Celsius for freezing. One should be careful about methods such as salting or smoking, because it does not ensure that it will kill the larvae
8. Most people with trichinosis have no symptoms and the infection goes away by itself. More severe infections may be difficult to treat, especially if the lungs, heart, or brain is involved. Possible complications: encephalitis, heart failure, heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias) from heart inflammation (myocarditis) and pneumonia.
9. Cultural Interrelation: In 2001, infectious disease specialist Dr. Jan V. Hirschmann of the University of Washington in Seattle latched onto a clue in a letter dated October 7-8, 1791 from Mozart to his wife: “What do I smell? Why, here is Don Primus with pork cutlets! Che gusto! Now I am eating to your health!” Mozart’s favorite food was pork and it just may have been his killer.
Trichinosis, caused by the parasitic worm Trichinella, was not discovered until 1860 when a woman died from a mysterious disease with symptoms similar to Mozart’s.
S: 1. OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=trichinosis&searchmode=none (last access: 10 December 2014). 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. STAND – https://web.stanford.edu/class/humbio103/ParaSites2001/trichinosis/ (last access: 10 December 2014). 8. MEDLP – http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000631.htm (last access: 10 December 2014). 9. https://www.themedicalbag.com/story/wolfgang-amadeus-mozart (last access: 17 October 2015).