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Outbreak of suspected trichinosis among travelers returning from a neighboring island.

BACKGROUND: An outbreak of trichinosis involving a cohort of 33 returning travelers from a resort island in a neighboring country was suspected, beginning with 2 initial cases who were hospitalized with a syndrome of fever, myalgia and eosinophilia.

METHOD: At the initial visit, a full history was obtained and a physical examination was performed for each individual. Also, blood was drawn for full blood count, blood film for malaria parasites and Trichinella serology. Extensive epidemiological investigations identified a total of 84 returning travelers from 6 separate groups, of which 58 (69%) were subjected to a detailed interview, including the kinds of meat consumed on the island.

RESULTS: Twenty-five of these 33 persons (75.7 %) fulfilled clinical or serological case definition criteria for trichinosis. IgG antibody for Trichinella spiralis was detected in 8 out of 32 persons who had the test done (25%). Symptoms were generally mild, with only one patient (3%) requiring steroids for prolonged myositis.

CONCLUSION: We suspect this outbreak to be due to trichinosis although the source could not be identified. Extensive epidemiological investigations identified a total of 84 returning travelers from 6 separate groups, of which 58 (69%) were subjected to a detailed interview, including the kinds of meat consumed on the island, but the source of the outbreak could not be identified.

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