- Tiny parasite that causes diarrhea
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms may take anywhere from three to twenty-five days to show up.
- Stomach pain, vomiting, severe gas, diarrhea
- Nausea, chills
- Headache, tiredness
- Person-to-person transmission from feces of infected individual (common in institutions and day cares)
- Drinking contaminated water (including while swimming)
- Swallowing giardia from contaminated surfaces
- Travelling to countries where giardia is common
- Doctor may prescribe antibiotics
- Some people clear infection on their own
An individual with giardia should stay home from school/daycare/work until 24 hours symptom free.
- Long-term intestinal symptoms (chronic diarrhea, cramps, bloating)
- Thorough hand-washing before handling food, before eating, and after toilet use
- Boiling water for one full minute when camping, canoeing, hiking
- Being cautious when travelling outside of Canada (avoid drinking unclean water or eating food that has been washed in unclean water)
Giardiasis is a reportable disease and must be reported to your local Medical Officer of Health under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.