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Giardia and Food Poisoning

What is giardia?

Giardiasis is a type of foodborne illness caused by a microscopic parasite called Giardia Lamblia or Giardia duodenalis (commonly known as "giardia"). It is most commonly found in developing countries that lack sanitation and water quality control.

How do you get giardiasis?

You can contract giardiasis by ingesting the Giardia parasite. The bacteria travel through the small intestine and out through infected feces from a person or animal that can contaminate anything that comes into contact with it. As with any other bacteria, Giardia spreads very easily - even ingesting tiny amounts of feces can make you ill.

How do you spread giardiasis?

There are a lot of ways to get the bacteria, however, these are the most common:

  • Contact with both infected animals and animal environments contaminated by the bacteria
  • Eating unsafe food or drinking water that's been contaminated with Giardia
  • Traveling to areas with poor sanitation
  • Transmission through close contact with infected people
  • Germs from contaminated surfaces and touching your mouth
  • Having anal sex (coming into contact with feces) with someone who is sick or who was recently infected with Giardia

How common is giardiasis? 

In the last 50 years, giardiasis has been recognized around the world as one of the most common parasites that can damage an internal organ. In places with poor sanitation such as developing countries, this is a big concern, but it is also found in developed countries everywhere. 

When do you show signs and symptoms of giardiasis? 

The onset of the symptoms of giardiasis usually begins 1 to 2 weeks after ingesting contaminated food or water or coming into contact with an infected person with giardia. 

What are the signs and symptoms of giardia infection? 

A giardia infection or giardiasis can result in a variety of symptoms common to any other foodborne illness such as: 

  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Loose stools
  • Foul-smelling, greasy poop
  • Gas
  • Stomach cramps or pain

How long do these symptoms last? 

Symptoms of a giardia infection last depending on the severity but it normally takes 2 to 6 weeks to fully run its course. People who are immunocompromised (e.g., due to illness such as HIV) may experience longer symptoms. 

Is Giardiasis contagious? 

Yes, it is. Because giardia is fast to multiply even outside of the body, it is very contagious and spreads quickly, especially if you live with other people in the same house. 

Who is at greater risk of getting giardiasis? 

People who are usually diagnosed with the bacteria are often found to have traveled to places with poor conditions and a lack of sanitation. Those who love to go on hikes in the forest and drink directly from contaminated lakes or streams are vulnerable to getting giardiasis. Couples who perform anal sex can also get infected with the bacteria. It is especially risky for those who have heart conditions and infants and young children. 

How is giardiasis diagnosed? 

Your doctor will request for a stool sample to be sent to the lab to see if you are infected. Because it can be quite challenging to detect Giardia in one sitting, the doctor may request for more stool specimens to be collected over the course of a few days to see if you are infected. 

Can I get giardia from my private well? 

Giardia can make its way into wells, even though private, through a variety of ways, including sewage overflows and malfunctions as well as environmental factors. Wells may be more prone to contamination by fecal matter after periods of flooding, and this is most likely during rare shallow wells or long flood events. A leaking septic system or poorly maintained one can pose a risk of contaminating nearby wells with germs from fecal matter, such as Giardia. 

Can I get giardiasis from my pet? 

The chances of contracting Giardia from dogs or cats are slim. The type of Giardia that infects humans is usually not the same type that passes between dogs and cats.

What is the treatment for giardiasis? 

There are many prescription drugs available to treat giardiasis. But giardia is more likely to cause dehydration in infants or pregnant women than in other people. Infants and pregnant women should drink a lot of fluids during the course of infection. This helps prevent dehydration which can be life-threatening for infants and young children, so parents should talk to their health care providers about options for treating them. 

How do I prevent giardiasis? 

Here are a few ways to avoid getting infected and control the spread of giardia: 

  • Always remember to wash your hands thoroughly before and after activities that require you to touch food, dirt, or feces
  • Do not eat or drink from contaminated sources
  • If no bottled water is available while backpacking or camping, make sure to boil water from springs, lakes, or rivers (surface water) for at least one minute before drinking.
  • Try to avoid ingesting water from swimming pools, hot tubs, splash pads, and untreated water from springs, lakes, or rivers (surface water) when swimming.
  • Ensure that fruits and vegetables are cleaned, prepared, and stored properly.
  • Practice safe sex by wearing condoms or abstain from having sexual intercourse several weeks after you or your partner have recovered from giardiasis.
Read more

Recent Interesting Reports

I order their salad last night mixed with steak, chicken, salsa, corn, and guac.
Stay away from this place

09/14 update: I am doing better however my partner who had she same food is still very bad | Symptoms: Diarrhea, Vomiting See Less
1.6K


Every time I eat McDonald's I have nausea, vomiting and diarrhea why? | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting See Less
21


The FSAI announced the recall of Galberts Plant Based Desserts Lemon Cheesecake because Walnuts were detected in an ingredient of the cheesecake base but they were not an intentional ingredient and are therefore not mentioned on the label.

The recalled product is:
- Galberts Plant Based Desserts... See More Lemon Cheesecake, pack size: 2 x 100g; all batches and all expiry dates.

If you have an allergic to or are intolerant to walnuts do not eat it, it may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction. Please throw it away.

In case you experience harm from allergens or undeclared ingredients, it is important to report it. It can help to detect & resolve issues and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist, seek medical care.

Source: fsai.ie
See Less
8


A prepackaged salad from here Got severe stomach pain about 2 hours after eating the salad, also got nausea and diarrhea. It happened This evening | Symptoms: Diarrhea, Nausea, Stomach Pain See Less
4.8K


My family (my boyfriend, his sister, my 10 months old son and her 20 months old daughter went to this location on the 20th of September 2022 and had a meal(full chicken, rolls with grated cheese on top, cranberry cosmo and after they were done eating, they... See More were offered another free cranberry which my boyfriend's sister mentioned it tasted different and from the 21 of September 2022 evening they all starting getting sick experiencing same symptoms, vomiting, diarrhea, both my son and sister's daughter have been vomiting, can't keep anything down and I lodged a complaint to them, was Transfered to their customer services and they are not taking this complain serious and saying i must take them to the doctor myself and can only get back to me after 15 days to see if this complain is serious or not, my sister is on a bed, can't do nothing nor eat, my son is also not stop vomiting and he hasn't had anything to eat since last evening because everytime he eats anything or take his bottle vomit so is my sister's daughter and my boyfriend I have 4 family members sick and are getting worse because of them and no one is taking this matter serious nor taking accountability for this food poisoning please help me on how to get help in this matter I can't afford to see my family suffering like this because of them | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting See Less
271


Thurs 9/1/22, Delivery order from here by Door Dash can confirm I've had this identical order 4 other times in last 3 weeks. No major illness those times.

update 09/02: Diarreha thru the nite. Despite diabetes, drinking Gatorade to avoid hydration & weakness. Food has no appeal. | Symptoms: Other, Diarrhea, Nausea See Less
473


My family ate there September 5th My wife and I ate the salad and the kids didn’t. the next day she and I had diarrhea symptoms. Hers gone away within a day but I am on the 8th day | Symptoms: Diarrhea See Less
983


Today
1 Bacon Cheeseburger
Bacon
Extra Bacon
Extra Cheese
Grilled Onions
Grilled Mushrooms
GRILLED Green Peppers
GRILLED Jalapeno Peppers
Lettuce
Onions
1 Little Fry
1 Little Bacon Cheeseburger
Bacon
All The Way
NO Grilled Mushrooms
2 Regular Soda | Symptoms: Nausea, Vomiting See Less
2


I ate broccoli yesterday around 2-2:30 pm and by 6 o’clock I was very sick and vomiting nonstop. It was what made me sick for sure bc I had second thoughts about eating it bc of the smell and how it looked. Didn’t taste bad. But soon... See More after, I was so sick and couldn’t stop vomiting. It was the only thing I had eaten all day and like I said it was the only thing I threw up. Was horrible. Not sure if I got at Aldi or either Walmart but for sure one of the two. | Symptoms: Nausea, Vomiting See Less
175


XX
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Definitely looks dried out or molded 🤔
Reply 2 weeks ago
Last 30 days