Backpackers Disease / Giardiasis

maj 21, 2008 at 4:55 pm 3 kommentarer

Giardia LambliaIn my recent article on Swedish hikers being warned not to drink the untreated water found in the area of Åre. I mentioned the reason for the warning was that the parasites; Giadia and Cryptosporidium have been found in some of the streams. They are most commonly found in North Americas streams and have only on occasions been found in Europe, so I thought I would elaborate a little on the How’s and Why’s of these parasites.

The Giardia parasite is the more common of the two, and the illness it can cause is called Giardiasis. It is also referred to as backpacker’s diarrhea because travellers are some of the most vulnerable to the disease because they drink the untreated water found in cold streams.

The Giardia cyst can tolerate very harsh environmental conditions and can live for weeks in cold streams and reservoirs. And even very small amounts can infect a human being or other warm blooded animals. Dogs in particular are often infected with the disease because they drink and swim in water where the cysts live. The cyst is 20 times smaller than a human hair, and can be very hard to filter out of the water. It is therefore recommended that in order to be sure, you have to boil any suspicious water for at least 5 minutes before drinking.

Dogs easily get infected by drinking contaminated water

Dogs easily get infected by drinking contaminated water

The disease is mostly transmitted from person to person, but also animals like dogs and cats can carry the disease. But you can also be infected just by swimming in contaminated water. Common symptoms on the infections are diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, gas, malaise, and weight loss. Normally healthy people will cure themselves, but you can experience symptoms in up to 1 month after being infected. Normally it goes away after a few weeks.

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Entry filed under: Environment, Water, Water Pollution. Tags: , , , .

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3 kommentarer Add your own

  • 1. tyrone jamall jackson  |  april 20, 2011 kl. 9:50 pm

    i have had this for along time and my dick hurts realy bad i have no idea what to do my 3 year old child is very sad because he thinks iam gunna die and my wife left me 2 years ago and iam alone and i dont know what to do.

  • 2. tyrone jamall jackson  |  april 20, 2011 kl. 9:51 pm

    my dick hurst soooo bad

  • 3. malaise vagal cause  |  september 14, 2014 kl. 12:23 pm

    In fact when someone doesn’t be aware of after that its up to other people that
    they will help, so here it happens.

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