Giardia - Infection and Symptoms

Infection and Symptoms

Giardia lives inside the intestines of infected humans or other animals. Individuals become infected through ingesting or coming into contact with contaminated food, soil, or water. The Giardia parasite originates from contaminated items and surfaces that have been tainted by the feces of an infected animal.

The symptoms of Giardia, which may begin to appear 2 days after infection, include violent diarrhea, excess gas, stomach or abdominal cramps, upset stomach, and nausea. Resulting dehydration and nutritional loss may need immediate treatment. After 1-2 days of diarrhea, the opposite occurs, constipation for 4-7 days, still with acute gas production. The typical infection within an individual can be slight, resolve without treatment, and last between 2–6 weeks, although sometimes longer and/or more severe. Coexistence with the parasite is possible, symptoms fade, but one can remain a carrier and transmit it to others. Medication containing tinidazole or metronidazole decreases symptoms and time to resolution, albendazole is also used and has an anti-helmintic (anti-worm) property as well, ideal for certain compounded issues when a general vermicidal agent is preferred.

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    This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
    This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
    This other Eden, demi-paradise,
    This fortress built by nature for herself
    Against infection and the hand of war,
    This happy breed of men, this little world,
    This precious stone set in the silver sea,
    Which serves it in the office of a wall,
    Or as a moat defensive to a house
    Against the envy of less happier lands;
    This blessèd plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

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