Trichinosis is a foodborne disease caused by a tiny parasitic worm, Trichinella spiralis.
Animals such as pigs, cats, rats, and many wild animals including fox, wolf, boar, and bear harbor the parasite in their muscle tissue. The worm is spread when infected animal flesh is ingested by other animals.
Historically, pork products were the most commonly implicated source of human infection, but now commercially raised domestic pork poses a low risk. However, eating undercooked wild game, particularly carnivores, puts one at risk for trichinosis.
Anyone who eats undercooked meat of infected animals can develop trichinosis.
Person-to-person spread does not happen.
Trichinosis fact sheet, P-42098 (PDF)
Information for Providers
This is a Wisconsin disease surveillance category II disease:
- Report to the patient's local public health department electronically, through the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS), by mail or fax using an Acute and Communicable Disease case report, F-44151 (Word) or by other means within 72 hours upon recognition of a case.
- Information on communicable disease reporting.
Wisconsin case reporting and public health follow-up guidelines
Case Reporting and Investigation Protocol (EpiNet): P-01912 Trichinosis (PDF)
Questions about Trichinosis? Contact us!
Phone: 608-267-9003 | Fax: 608-261-4976