A parasitic disease
Giardia is a single-celled, microscopic parasite that can live in the intestines of humans and animals. Found world-wide, over the past two decades Giardia infections have become one of the most common waterborne diseases for people in the United States.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially after using the toilet, changing diapers or before handling or eating food.
- Do not drink untreated water, including ice made from unsafe water.
- When you can't avoid suspect water, boil it for at least one minute or use a filter rated for "cyst removal".
- Wash and/or peel all raw vegetables and fruits before eating.
A Giardia infection can cause a variety of intestinal symptoms, Including:
- gas or flatulence
- greasy stools that tend to float
- stomach cramps
- upset stomach or nausea
Like other food- and waterborne diseases, Giardia spreads when poop contaminates:
- Water, including swimming pools, hot tubs, Jacuzzis, fountains, lakes, rivers, springs, ponds or streams
- Surfaces such as bathroom fixtures, changing tables, diaper pails or toys