A South Dakota Family Became Infected With Parasitic Roundworms After They Ate Undercooked Black Bear Meat At A Reunion

MelissaMN - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual bear

Two years ago, at a family reunion in South Dakota, six people became infected with parasitic roundworms after consuming undercooked bear meat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report about the case.

In July 2022, family members from Minnesota, Arkansas, and South Dakota all gathered together to share an unconventional meal.

One person brought meat from a black bear he had hunted two months prior in Saskatchewan, Canada. The meat had been frozen for 45 days to kill any parasites that might’ve been lurking in it.

The meat was thawed at the reunion. It was grilled with vegetables and served as kabobs. The family members realized the meat was undercooked after they started eating, so they put it back on the grill for a little while longer.

According to the CDC, the meat was dark in color, so the family had a hard time telling how thoroughly it was cooked.

Nearly a week later, a 29-year-old man who had been in attendance at the reunion became ill. He had a fever, severe muscle pain, swelling around the eyes, and a variety of other symptoms.

He was admitted to the hospital twice. During his second hospital stay, doctors learned that he had recently eaten black bear meat. They believed that a parasitic infection called trichinellosis was the culprit.

Trichinellosis is caused by Trichinella, which is a type of roundworm. It is transmitted to humans through the consumption of meat from animals infected with Trichinella. After conducting laboratory tests, doctors confirmed that the man had trichinellosis.

Five other family members came down with trichinellosis as well. Two of them had only eaten the vegetables, but the meat had contaminated the other foods.

MelissaMN – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual bear

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