A bear meat kebab infects an American family with brain worms found in pork

Written By Mark

Members of one family were infected with brain worms after eating bear meat kebab, according to a report issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

9 family members from 3 states (Arizona, Minnesota, or South Dakota) attended a family gathering in 2022 in South Dakota, according to a report issued on May 23, and reported by The Hill website.

A family member hunted a bear in northern Saskatchewan, and stored its meat in the refrigerator for more than a month before preparing it and using it in kebabs. According to the report, a family member received instructions from a hunting dealer to freeze the meat to kill parasites.

However, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report indicates that larvae and worms later discovered in meat and family members are resistant to freezing.
At a family gathering, meat was grilled alongside vegetables, but it was mistakenly served undercooked, and after a few attendees initially ate the meat, it was recooked and served again.

Three members of the affected family said they only ate vegetables at the meal, but health officials say the meat may have been contaminated by other foods that were served.

Hospital admission

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that a few weeks later, in July 2022, a family member was hospitalized with fever, severe muscle pain, and swelling around the eyes, and doctors diagnosed him with trichinellosis.

Trichinosis is a roundworm infection that usually occurs as a result of eating raw or undercooked meat contaminated with the Trichinella parasite, the larvae of which can come from carnivores such as bears, as well as wild boars and walruses.

Eventually, 7 additional family members, including a 12-year-old girl, were diagnosed with worms.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 3 of the seven were hospitalized and treated with a drug called albendazole, which kills the worms. Health officials said only 6 showed symptoms, and all of them have recovered.

The remains of the bear meat were tested, and the larvae of trichinosis, which is often caused by eating undercooked or raw pork in the United States, were discovered.

Once the larvae enter the body, they can travel to muscle tissues and organs, including the brain, heart, lungs and spinal cord, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, complications associated with infection are rare.

The most common symptoms of trichinosis can include nausea, vomiting, headaches, and seizures. Some people who are infected with the worms do not show these symptoms because their immune system kills them.