Two Outbreaks of Trichinellosis Linked to Consumption of Walrus Meat - Alaska, 2016-2017.MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Jul 07; 66(26):692-696.MM
During 1975-2012, CDC surveillance identified 1,680 trichinellosis cases in the United States with implicated food items; among these cases, 1,219 were attributed to consumption of raw or pork products, and 461 were attributed to nonpork products. Although trichinellosis in the United States has historically been associated with consumption of pork, multiple nonporcine species of wild game also are competent hosts for Trichinella spp. and have been collectively implicated in the majority of trichinellosis cases since the late 1990s (1-4) (Figure 1). During July 2016-May 2017, the Alaska Division of Public Health (ADPH) investigated two outbreaks of trichinellosis in the Norton Sound region associated with consumption of raw or undercooked walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) meat; five cases were identified in each of the two outbreaks. These were the first multiple-case outbreaks of walrus-associated trichinellosis in Alaska since 1992 (Figure 2). Health care providers should inquire about consumption of commercially prepared and personally harvested meats when evaluating suspected trichinellosis cases, especially in areas where consumption of wild game is commonplace.