Giardiasis - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Giardiasis is one of the major diarrheal disease found throughout the world which is caused by a microscopic parasite called Giardia lamblia. It is a fairly common cause of diarrheal illness and it is estimated that several thousand cases occur in upstate New York each year. Cases may occur sporadically or in clusters or outbreaks.
Giardia outbreaks can occur in communities in both developed and developing countries where water supplies become contaminated with raw sewage. Some of the very common examples of causing the disease through water contamination is drinking water from lakes or streams, where water-dwelling animals such as beavers and muskrats, or domestic animals such as sheep, have caused contamination. City water may also be infected if sewer lines flood or leak. If you travel overseas, you may get giardiasis by drinking water (even tap water) that hasn't been boiled or treated.
Some of the other main Causes of Giardiasis may be:
Symptoms of giardiasis typically begin 1-2 weeks after infection and may wane and reappear cyclically. Symptoms are caused largely by the thick coating of Giardia organisms coating the inside of the small intestine and blocking nutrient absorption. Most people are asymptomatic; only about a third of infected people exhibit symptoms. In most patients the illness is self-limiting and lasts 2-4 weeks. Children with chronic infection may fail to thrive. Some patients recover from their giardiasis, with or without any treatment, but symptoms continue, perhaps because there has been bacterial overgrowth within the small intestine.
Giardiasis infection can cause a variety of intestinal symptoms, which include:
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