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February 22, 1980

Trichinosis Masquerading as a Penicillin Allergy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Internal Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa.

JAMA. 1980;243(8):767-768. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300340043019

TRICHINOSIS is a parasitic infection most frequently involving striated muscle. Inadequately cooked pork is the most common source of acquisition, although wild animal flesh has been implicated in several cases.1 Adulteration of "safe" meats with pork by common utensils or meat grinders contributes to the prevalence of the infection. The incidence of this disease has been gradually declining, and it is presently very infrequently encountered in this country. As a result, many physicians may not be aware of the diagnosis until late in the course of the disease. In 1976, there were 96 cases reported to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), only one of which occurred in Florida.2 We describe here a patient demonstrating vague symptoms and laboratory data that could have been misleading.

Report of a Case  A 27-year-old man came to the Tampa (Fla) General Hospital emergency room complaining of fever, chills, and myalgias. The