Trichinellosis is a parasitic disease of humans and animals. The trichinellosis worm—Trichinella spiralis-- is found most commonly in pigs but it can infect a wide range of carnivorous animals including bears, rodents, foxes, badgers, wolves, cats, and dogs. Trichinella is transmitted to another animal when it eats muscle or other tissues that contain cysts of the parasitic worm. In the United States, humans are most commonly infected by eating raw or undercooked meat from wild pigs or bears. Humans with trichinellosis first experience vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain followed in a few weeks by muscle pain and swelling. Migrating worms can also invade and damage other organs such as eyes, heart, lungs, and brain. Trichinellosis is not spread person to person, but many people can become infected at the same time if they eat undercooked meat from the same infected animal.
Thoroughly cooking all meats, regardless of source, before eating is the best way to prevent infection with Trichinella and many other food-borne pathogens.