Giardia is an infection of the bowel caused by the Giardia parasite. It can trigger episodes of abdominal pain and diarrhea. The infection can result to long-lasting symptoms and serious issues particularly among children.
The infection usually affects the small intestine and one of the prevalent diseases globally that is transported via water. An individual can become infected by the Giardia parasite if exposed with contaminated water, food or feces.
The parasite has to enter orally usually from contaminated water or food to start an infection. Remember that water and food can become contaminated if not able to wash hands after using the toilet, after changing diapers or handling infected animals.
What are the indications of giardia?
Some individuals with giardia do not have any symptoms at all but capable of spreading the parasite. Some have gastroenteritis with the symptoms such as:
- Foul and watery diarrhea
- Abdominal cramping or bloating
- Excessive gas or flatulence
Some individuals could not tolerate dairy products for a few weeks. These symptoms can persist for months and might even recur. Once an individual is suspected with the condition, a doctor should be consulted right away.
Those who have episodes of diarrhea, particularly infants and young children should be given plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Prescription medications including antibiotics can also be used to manage the condition.
The spread of giardia can be prevented with the following:
- Infected individuals should avoid going to work or school until episodes of diarrhea has ceased for 24 hours.
- Observe proper hand washing especially after using the toilet and before handling food.
- Boil water that might be contaminated before drinking.