Giardiasis is an intestinal infection caused by the parasite Giardia. You may become infected by ingesting contaminated food or water. Exposure to the stool of someone who`s infected can also cause infection.
When to seek medical attention
Get medical help for severe symptoms that include:
Stomach bloating or fullness
Nausea or vomiting
Unplanned weight loss
Blood in your stool
When to go to the emergency room
Go to the emergency room if you have:
Severe belly pain
What to expect at the healthcare provider’s office
You will be examined and will likely have a stool specimen examined in a lab. This checks a sample of your stool for the parasite that causes the disease. If giardiasis is suspected or confirmed, you may be prescribed medicine that you take for 5 to 7 days. In many cases, this clears the infection.
Take these steps to help prevent infection with Giardia:
Wash your hands after using the bathroom and before eating.
Wash your hands each time you change a child’s diaper.
Avoid drinking from rivers and streams, and use a water treatment kit when camping.
Wash or peel raw produce before using.