ARGENTINA – Health officials in Buenos Aires, Argentina, are grappling with a concerning surge in trichinosis cases, with more than 650 potential infections reported this year.
Of these, 399 cases have been confirmed, prompting heightened efforts to contain the outbreak and address its various epicenters.
Seven trichinosis outbreaks have been identified, with six being relatively contained but one spreading across 12 municipalities.
The affected regions include Chivilcoy, Colonel Dorrego, Ayacucho, Tres Arroyos, Olavarría, and La Plata. The largest outbreak alone has accounted for 531 cases, with 361 confirmed instances. The outbreaks have been linked to both domestic and commercially available meat products.
Trichinosis, caused by the Trichinella parasite, is transmitted through the consumption of raw or undercooked pork.
The National Service for Agri-Food Health and Quality (Senasa) has emphasized preventive measures, urging producers to maintain hygienic conditions and ensure proper animal diets.
The primary source of infection is domestic pig meat, but it can also stem from other species, such as wild boar.
Nationwide, Argentina has recorded 433 suspected infections and 387 confirmed or probable cases in 2023 up to mid-September.
Thirteen outbreaks have been reported in various regions, causing 341 cases and 42 hospitalizations. Despite the severity of symptoms, no deaths have been reported.
Government authorities are actively addressing the situation, with the Ministry of Health responding to an outbreak in Córdoba, where 59 cases have been identified.
In Córdoba’s Marcos Juárez region, authorities have linked the outbreak to the consumption of pork and salami purchased from different local businesses.
They’ve issued warnings about the risks associated with consuming, selling, or buying pork of dubious origin or those that haven’t undergone official inspection. Control measures include the identification and withdrawal of Sutera brand items made with unauthorized meat.
Just two years back, Argentina reported almost 250 cases of trichinosis linked to eating pork products. Health officials in Córdoba revealed that 244 cases of trichinosis had been registered in Totoral, Colón, Unión, Capital and Río Cuarto.
Trichinosis symptoms range from nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting to more severe manifestations like fever, muscle pains, and respiratory issues.
Authorities emphasize that freezing, curing, drying, or smoking may not eliminate the parasite, underscoring the importance of cooking meat thoroughly to a temperature of 71 degrees C (160 degrees F) as the most effective preventive measure.