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South Dakota Family Gets Actual Brain Worms After Eating THIS!

Family Brain Worms Eating Undercooked Bear Meat

Members of an extended family (not pictured above) gathered last month in South Dakota for a much-anticipated family reunion, but disaster struck when SIX of them came down with trichinellosis!

If you don’t know what trichinellosis is, don’t worry — we didn’t either until just a minute ago. LOLz! Basically, trichinellosis is the medical term for what we casually might call “brain worms.” Like, literal brain worms! Real, actual tiny worms deposited inside a human being’s brain and releasing larvae and wreaking havoc! SO gross!!!

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the Dakota family gathering went south after six relatives came down with worms. The unnamed family members hailed from Arizona and Minnesota in addition to South Dakota itself. And one specific thing they ate at the gathering is thought to be the cause: undercooked bear meat!! Yes, we said bear.

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Per the CDC, one family member brought a bunch of bear meat to the gathering. They’d frozen it prior to the reunion with the intention of killing any parasites in it. But that apparently didn’t work out so well! At the reunion, the meat was “thawed and grilled with vegetables” according to the CDC. Then, it was doled out to family members in the form of kabobs.

As the CDC later determined, the meat didn’t actually get cooked right the first time! Not even close, in fact! The public health outfit stated:

“[The bear meat was] initially inadvertently served rare, reportedly because the meat was dark in color, and it was difficult for the family members to visually ascertain the level of doneness.”


Thankfully, one family member in attendance piped up once they noted the bear meat wasn’t fully cooked. So, the meat was “recooked before being served again.” But it was too late for six members of the family who’d eaten enough of the meat to start suffering the parasitic effects of the microscopic worms hidden inside!!

Days later, a 29-year-old man who’d been at the family gathering and eaten the meat became severely ill. His sickness got so bad he was hospitalized twice in two weeks. When doctors noticed his symptoms — including swelling around the eyes and severe muscle aches — they asked him to think back to what he’d recently eaten. That’s when he informed them about the bear meat at the reunion, and a connection was made.

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Doctors suspected trichinellosis, notified the local department of public health, and ordered a Trichinella immunoglobulin (Ig) G antibody test for the man to confirm their hypothesis. Sure enough, it came back positive. When public health officials started re-tracing all the family members who’d been at the South Dakota gathering, they determined six of them ranging in age from 12 to 62 had gotten ill! And here’s the crazy part: two of those six didn’t eat ANY of the bear meat! Just the vegetables with which it had been grilled! So, the worms were able to transfer over to the veggies, too?! Whoa!!

Two more of those six had to be hospitalized due to their sicknesses, but thankfully, all six recovered. They were given antiparasitic medications meant to kill the adult brain worms and prevent further release of larvae, and that was that. But still, DAMN!

FYI, the CDC claims that even though undercooked pork is usually the source of a trichinellosis infection, bear meat is thought to have been responsible for the majority of trichinellosis outbreaks in the United States in the last decade. So, if you’re going to eat bear meat — or any meat — make sure it’s fully cooked!!

[Image via ABC/Facebook/Peacock/YouTube.]

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May 24, 2024 17:06pm PDT