Trichinella spiralis


Trichinella spiralis


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USMLE® Step 1 questions

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Trichinella spiralis

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

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A 42-year-old woman presents to her outpatient provider for evaluation of muscle pain, which has been ongoing for the past two weeks. The pain is most prominent over the anterior muscles of the chest and abdomen. In addition, she has experienced frequent episodes of non-bloody diarrhea. Past medical history is notable for hypertension and asthma. She recently returned from a trip to East Asia. Temperature is 38.6°C (101.5°F), blood pressure is 147/88 mmHg, and pulse is 102/min. Tenderness is elicited with palpation over the affected areas. Bilateral conjunctival hemorrhages are present. No cutaneous lesions are observed. Which of the following pathogens is most likely responsible for this patient’s symptoms? 

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Trichinella spiralis is a parasitic roundworm that causes trichinellosis or trichinosis, a disease that can affect both humans and animals. People can get infected when they ingest raw or undercooked meat from infected animals, usually from wild game, such as bear, or pork products. Symptoms of trichinellosis include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, muscle pain and tenderness, and fever. Treatment is with drugs like albendazole or mebendazole, which can kill the parasite.


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