An Outbreak of Trichinellosis Due to Consumption of Bear Meat Infected withTrichinella nativa,in 2 Northern Saskatchewan Communities
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In June 2000, bear meat infected with Trichinella nativa was consumed by 78 individuals in 2 northern Saskatchewan communities. Interviews and blood collections were performed on exposed individuals at the onset of the outbreak and 7 weeks later. All exposed individuals were treated with mebendazole or albendazole, and symptomatic patients received prednisone. Confirmed cases were more likely to have consumed dried meat, rather than boiled meat (P<.001). Seventy-four percent of patients completed the recommended therapy, and 87% of patients who were followed up in August 2000 reported complete resolution of symptoms. This outbreak of trichinellosis was caused by consumption of inadequately cooked bear meat contaminated with T. nativa. Apart from clinical symptomatology, blood counts, creatine kinase levels, serology test results, and analysis of the remaining bear meat helped establish the diagnosis. Treatment with antiparasitic drugs and prednisone was beneficial in limiting the severity and duration of the illness.