Eating bear meat kebabs during family gatherings leads to the spread of roundworm disease

Six family members contracted a rare parasitic disease caused by roundworm larvae after eating kebabs made from bear meat.

A Report A release this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed new details about the outbreak, which occurred in July 2022 in nine people. Family Reunification in South Dakota.

A family member brought meat to the reunion from a black bear hunted in northern Canada. The meat was frozen in a home freezer for 45 days. Hunting black bears is legal in Canada and many US states.

The family made kebabs with grilled vegetables and melted meat. According to the CDC, the family had a hard time determining whether the kebabs were fully cooked because the meat was dark in color. So it was served haphazardly and rarely eaten.

A week later, a family member — a 29-year-old man in Minnesota — developed fever, severe muscle pain and swelling around the eyes. He was hospitalized twice for symptoms.

The man was positive for antibodies to the roundworm Trichinella. All five family members have developed symptoms such as fever, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, muscle pain and swelling around the eyes.

Two others who were exposed did not develop symptoms, and the CDC could not confirm whether a ninth person had been exposed to Trichinella..

The CDC tested the rest of the frozen meat and found larvae from the same roundworm species.

The institute speculated that all six members of the family had trichinellosis after eating undercooked meat contaminated with Trichinella larvae.

Such infections are rare. From January 2016 to December 2022, the CDC identified seven trichinellosis outbreaks involving 35 probable or confirmed cases in the United States. Most are linked to bear meat.

Trichinellosis is the cause of presidential candidate Robert F. Not a parasitic infection like Kennedy Jr. Recently revealed He suffered once. Kennedy said his brain infection came from pig tapeworm larvae.

Two of the victims at the family reunion ate vegetables without meat, the CDC reported. Trichinella-infected meat can cause cross-contamination, so the meat and its juices should be separated from other foods during cooking.

Three family members were hospitalized, each of them consuming bear meat. They received a treatment called albendazole, which kills the parasitic worms and their larvae.

All six have recovered.

The CDC report warns that freezing meat does not kill all types of Trichinella. For example, the bear meat at Family Reunion was contaminated with a species found in frost-resistant arctic bears.

“Persons who consume meat from wild animals should be aware that adequate cooking is the only reliable way to kill Tricinella parasites,” the report’s authors wrote.

The CDC recommends cooking wild game meat to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, which should be checked with a meat thermometer — not by looking at the color of the meat.

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