Pharmacy Clinical Pearl of the Day: Giardia Infection

Giardia infection is one of the most common causes of waterborne disease in the United States.

Clinical Pearl of the Day: Giardia Infection

Giardia infection is an intestinal infection marked by stomach cramps, bloating, nausea, and bouts of watery diarrhea.

Insight:

  • Giardia infection is caused by a microscopic parasite that is found worldwide, especially in areas with poor sanitation and unsafe water.
  • Giardia infection (giardiasis) is one of the most common causes of waterborne disease in the United States.
  • The parasites are found in backcountry streams and lakes but also in public water supplies, swimming pools, whirlpool spas, and wells.
  • Giardia infection can be spread through food and person-to-person contact.
  • Giardia infections usually clear up within a few weeks.
  • Symptoms include watery stool, fatigue, stomach cramps, gas, nausea, and weight loss.
  • Causes may include swallowing contaminated water, eating contaminated food, and person-to-person contact.
  • Risk factors include being a child, anal sex, and not having access to clean water.
  • Treatment includes using medications such as metronidazole (Flagyl), tinidazole (Tindamax), and nitazoxanide (Alinia).

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