Giardiasis is an infection of the intestinal tract that results from the parasite, Giardia lamblia.. This parasite is found in contaminated water and it is becoming increasingly common among day care and preschool children. Outbreaks of giardiasis may occur in communities where the water supply is contaminated with raw sewage.
Causes of Giardiasis
Giardia lamblia parasites infests the body through water and sometimes food. They multiply in the small intestine and cause local inflammation, diarrhea and other symptoms. It appears in 1 to 3 weeks.
Signs and Symptoms of Giardiasis
As many as two thirds of the people who develop giardiasis have no symptoms. These people, however, are contagious, and may spread the disorder to other people. The typical symptoms include watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps and weight loss. These symptoms usually begin between 1 and 3 weeks after exposure to the organism. The stools may be foul smelling and floating. Abdominal swelling and bloating may occur Mild fever is common. The symptoms usually last up to a week. However, some people may develop a chronic disorder and remain symptomatic for months.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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