Giardiasis

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Giardiasis is an infection of the small intestine caused by a parasite called Giardia lamblia.

Giardiasis is an infection of the small intestines caused by a parasite called Giardia lamblia. The infection is transmitted via intake of Giardia cysts. These cysts pass on to humans through several ways:

Giardiasis

► Contaminated water- Drinking water that has been contaminated by human and animal excreta that contain Giardia cysts is the primary source of infection. Improper water filtration techniques increase the risk of giardiasis.

► Contaminated food- Eating raw or undercooked meat that has been contaminated with Giardia cysts, food that may have been washed in contaminated water, or is prepared by an infected person can transmit giardiasis.

► Direct person-to-person contact- Exposure to an infected family member, or other infected individuals at day care centers or nursing homes can transmit the infection. Poor sanitation and poor hygiene increases the spread of the protozoan.

► Unprotected anal sex

Giardia can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, abdominal bloating and nausea. Sometimes, giardiasis may not cause any symptoms.

The doctor usually recommends stool examination for diagnosing giardiasis.

Metronidazole is used effectively to treat giardiasis. It helps kill the parasite and also lowers the risk of transmission of giardiasis to others.

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