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Giardia


Image: CDC/Janice Carr

Giardia are a group of flagellate protozoans (single-celled, microscopic parasites) which grow in the intestines of infected humans or animals. Giardia cause diarrhoeal disease in humans.

The disease can be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals or humans, or by consumption of water, food or beverages contaminated by the faeces of infected animals or humans. People may also be infected by swimming in contaminated water (for example in lakes or rivers).

Many cases are associated with recent foreign travel.

Clinical information

Incubation period:
5 to 25 days.

Common clinical features:
Diarrhoea, abdominal cramps.

Reservoir:
Gastrointestinal tracts of people and animals.

Transmission:
Person to person. Foodborne transmission is rare. Faecal oral in young children. Waterborne. Spread within families is common.

Cysts resist standard chlorination.


Image: CDC/Janice Carr

Giardia are a group of flagellate protozoans (single-celled, microscopic parasites) which grow in the intestines of infected humans or animals. Giardia cause diarrhoeal disease in humans.

The disease can be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals or humans, or by consumption of water, food or beverages contaminated by the faeces of infected animals or humans. People may also be infected by swimming in contaminated water (for example in lakes or rivers).

Many cases are associated with recent foreign travel.

Clinical information

Incubation period:
5 to 25 days.

Common clinical features:
Diarrhoea, abdominal cramps.

Reservoir:
Gastrointestinal tracts of people and animals.

Transmission:
Person to person. Foodborne transmission is rare. Faecal oral in young children. Waterborne. Spread within families is common.

Cysts resist standard chlorination.

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