Giardiasis is an infection of your small intestine by a microscopic parasite called Giardia.
You can get giardiasis from drinking unclean water
Sometimes you get giardiasis from other people who have the infection
The main symptoms are belly cramps and diarrhea
Doctors can tell you have the infection by testing a stool (poop) sample
To avoid giardiasis, boil infected water before you drink it, especially water from a stream or lake
Doctors treat giardiasis with anti-parasite medicine
Giardiasis is caused by small parasites called Giardia.
Giardia are common in lakes, rivers, and streams all over the world. They can even be in water that looks clean and safe. Sometimes, they are also in poorly treated water from a city water supply or swimming pool.
Most people get giardiasis from drinking water that has the parasite in it. Because people with giardiasis pass the parasite in their stool, they can accidentally spread the infection if they touch something that you then put in your mouth.
Symptoms usually start about a week or two after you’re infected. They include:
If diarrhea lasts longer than a few weeks, it can stop your body from getting the nutrition it needs. You may lose weight. Children with ongoing diarrhea may have growth problems.
You and your community can help prevent giardiasis by: