PHNOM PENH, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Cambodia's Ministry of Health confirmed on Tuesday an outbreak of Trichinellosis in an area in central Kampong Thom province that has left eight people dead and 25 others hospitalized.
Trichinellosis is a disease that people can get by eating raw or undercooked meat from animals infected with the microscopic parasite Trichinella.
In its statement, the ministry said 33 villagers living in Prey Long (forest) area in Sandan district had fallen ill earlier this month, about three weeks after they ate contaminated wild meat that was undercooked, and eight of them had subsequently died in recent weeks.
"The samples of 3 patients' muscle tissue were tested by the Calmette Hospital's laboratory and the result confirmed that there were Trichinella larvae in their muscle tissue," the statement said.
It added that another test on the blood samples from other nine patients by a Vietnamese hospital's laboratory confirmed that "there were eggs of Trichinalla worms" in their blood.
According to the statement, the first symptoms of Trichinellosis include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, fever, and abdominal discomfort.
Abdominal pains can occur one to two days after infection, and further symptoms such as headaches, fevers, chills, cough, swelling of the face and eyes, aching joints and muscle pains, itchy skin, diarrhea, or constipation usually start two to eight weeks after eating contaminated meat.
If the infection is heavy, patients may experience difficulty in coordinating movements, and have heart and breathing problems, it said, adding that in severe cases, death can occur.
Cambodian Minister of Health Mam Bunheng called on the people, especially those in the affected area, to see doctors as soon as possible if they suspected that they had infected with Trichinellosis.
"I'd like to appeal to the people to stop eating raw or undercooked meat in order to prevent themselves from infecting Trichinellosis and other diseases," he said in a statement.