Giardia Infection a Common Foodborne & Waterborne Illness

Giardia infection (giardiasis) is one of the most common waterborne diseases in the United States. The parasites are found in backcountry streams and lakes and in municipal water supplies, swimming pools, whirlpool spas and wells. Giardia infection can be transmitted through food, water and person-to-person contact.

Giardia is a parasite found on certain surfaces or in soil, food, or water that has been contaminated with feces from infected carriers. Giardia can survive outside the body for long periods of time and is tolerant to chlorine disinfection.

While the parasite can be spread in different ways, water is the most common transmission mode, most notably in swimming pools, waterways and drinking water.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Ohio personal injury attorney with experience in injuries due to food poisoning. The Lyon Firm has represented plaintiffs nationwide in foodborne illness claims.

Prevention: Controlling the Risks of Giardia

Giardia infection is caused by a microscopic parasite that is found worldwide, especially in areas with poor sanitation and unsafe water. Anything that comes into contact with feces from infected humans or animals can become contaminated with Giardia. People may be infected after they swallow the parasite. Giardiasis can be spread in the following manners:

  • Ingesting Giardia picked up from surfaces like bathroom handles, changing tables, diapers, or toys
  • Drinking water or using ice made from water sources where Giardia may thrive
  • Swallowing water while swimming where Giardia is present
  • Eating uncooked food that contains Giardia
  • Close contact with someone who is ill with giardiasis
  • Traveling to countries where giardiasis is endemic

Giardia infections usually clear up within a few weeks though intestinal problems may persist long after the parasites are gone. Several drugs are effective against giardia parasites, but not everyone responds to them. Prevention is the best defense.

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Common Signs & Symptoms of Giardia Infection

Some people with giardia infection never develop signs or symptoms but still carry the parasite and can spread it to others through their stool. Symptoms of giardia infection may last two to six weeks, but in some people they last longer. Symptoms typically appear one to three weeks after exposure and may include:

  • Watery, sometimes foul-smelling diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Gas or flatulence
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Bloating

If you or a loved one has suffered from Giardia or another a foodborne infection, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.