Parasitic payback from a wild bear

A man, 47, presented with a myriad of symptoms that didn’t add up as he rapidly progressed to respiratory failure and a “profound” white cell count, reported Jason Lee, MD, of the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, Calif., and colleagues.

The patient presented with fever, swelling, and muscle pain that had worsened over the course of a week, they wrote in Chest. Antimicrobial agents were initiated, but the man’s condition deteriorated to the point of respiratory failure and ICU transfer…

The diagnosis remained uncertain.

After conducting a full patient history, Lee’s group learned of the man’s game hunting hobby, and that he’d killed and eaten a wild bear in recent weeks.

Investigations into potential parasitic culprits led to Trichinella antibodies, and he was diagnosed with trichinellosis.

Trichinella is a roundworm parasite that lives in infected raw or undercooked meat. The parasites release from their cysts upon exposure to stomach acid and pepsin, and subsequently invade the small intestine where they grow into adult roundworms. Once mature, they migrate to striated muscle, such as the diaphragm…

…Recovery from this type of infection is slow and can take several months to years to regain full muscular function…Sometimes you eat the bear; sometimes the bear gets posthumous revenge.

I’ll second that emotion. Poisonally, I don’t believe in hunting other predators.

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