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Home Eurosurveillance Weekly Release  2007: Volume 12/ Issue 28 Article 1
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Eurosurveillance, Volume 12, Issue 28, 12 July 2007

Citation style for this article: Golab E, Szulc M, Sadkowska-Todys M. Outbreak of trichinellosis in north-western Poland, June 2007. Euro Surveill. 2007;12(28):pii=3234. Available online:

Outbreak of trichinellosis in north-western Poland, June 2007

E Golab1, M Szulc2, M Sadkowska-Todys (

1. Department of Medical Parasitology, National Institute of Hygiene, Warsaw, Poland
2. Voivodeship Sanitary-Epidemiological Station, Szczecin, Poland
3. Department of Epidemiology, National Institute of Hygiene, Warsaw, Poland

An outbreak of trichinellosis is ongoing in Zachodniopomorskie voivodeship (West Pomerania), a province in north-western Poland bordering Germany, and has to date affected 201 people. The outbreak was first notified to the local public health department in Kamien Pomorski on 9 June 2007. Four patients were hospitalised with clinical symptoms suggestive of infection with Trichinella larvae – fever, joint pain, periorbital and facial oedema, vomiting, stomach-ache and headache. The first results of the epidemiological investigation showed a link between illness and consumption of raw pork meat and meat products that had been produced in one meat processing plant and were sold in shops.

The highest number of suspected cases was reported during the first week of the outbreak between 11 and 17 June – in total 122, including 43 hospitalised patients. By 2 July, the number had increased to 201 people, 73 of them were hospitalised.
The initial diagnoses were based on clinical symptoms. Serological tests are now being conducted by the Department of Medical Parasitology at the National Institute of Hygiene, Warsaw. To date, 60 serum samples have been examined; of those, 28 were IgG anti-Trichinella positive and five had an equivocal (+/-) result. Leftover pork is being examined for Trichinella larvae by the National Veterinary Research Institute, Pulawy.

A single producer who delivered meat products to shops in different towns in Zachodniopomorskie voivodeship could be identified as the source of the outbreak. This meat processing plant was closed on 15 June, and all meat products produced there in May and June have been recalled from shops and storehouses.
Consumers from the voivodeship territory were informed by the Voivodeship Sanitary Inspection about the necessity of returning return or destroying the suspect products. Announcements were posted in shops, in which meat products from the implicated factory were sold. Moreover, the information was announced in the local media.

A message was sent through the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS) and the rapid alert system for food and feed (RASFF) in the middle of June to inform other European Union countries about the ongoing outbreak of trichinellosis in Poland. None of the meat products from this plant have been exported to other countries.
During the investigation, the local epidemiologists were informed of linked cases in Ireland and Germany who had been visiting relatives in Poland.

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