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CDC: Family members infected with worms after eating bear meat at SD gathering

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported new cases of a wild parasite derived from undercooked game meat.

Trichinellosis, derived from roundworms found in bear meat, was confirmed in six cases stemming from a family gathering in South Dakota. These parasites can make their way into heart, intestinal and even brain tissue. Most patients recover within two to six months.

Officials said several relatives were infected after eating bear meat kabobs. Some family members were sickened after only eating vegetables that were served at the meal, the CDC said. Of the six infected, three were hospitalized but eventually recovered fully.

The incident took place in 2022, but the CDC only recently released the report on its investigation.

The CDC reports the only way to safely eat bear meat is to properly cook the product and kill the parasite. Further, it reminds consumers to be wary of cross-contamination.

That CDC recommendation includes cooking wild game to 165 degrees internal, verifying via an internal thermometer and not using the color of the meat as an indicator.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture