Repeated USMLE Questions Step 1- 292

A 35-year-old man comes to the clinic complaining of myalgias and fever. Two weeks ago, he had experienced a brief, self-limited spell of diarrhea after going to a barbecue party. After that, there were no more symptoms and the patient remained asymptomatic. Yesterday evening, he developed fever of 103 F (39.4oC), severe muscle pain, and conjunctivitis. There is also generalized muscular soreness along with a diffuse maculopapular rash. Several minute hemorrhages can be seen under his fingernails. Complete blood count (CBC) performed at the time of admission shows white blood cell count of 15,000/mm3 with 30% eosinophils.

Which one of these developmental forms is responsible for his infection?

A- Ovum

B- Cyst

C- Encysted larvae

D- Rhabditiform larvae


This patient is likely suffering from being infected by encysted larvae, also known as trichinosis. Infection occurs when humans eat undercooked pork products. The common symptoms of infection include vomiting, sweating, diarrhea, facial edema, fever, intense muscle pain, low blood pressure, weakening of pulse, difficulty breathing and heart damage.  In severe cases, the condition may eventually lead to death from heart failure, kidney malfunction, or respiratory complications.

The correct answer is C

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