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.
- 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).