Giardia Infection Overview
What is giardiasis?
A person with a Giardia infection has inflammation of the intestine caused by a parasite, called Giardia lamblia. The most common symptom is diarrhea. Giardia infection is transmitted by exposure to infected stool or contaminated water. Giardia infections are cured with antibiotics. Symptoms improve within 2 days of the start of treatment.
What are the symptoms of giardiasis?
About half of individuals with giardiasis do not develop symptoms. After ingesting the parasite, symptoms usually start within 3 weeks. Symptoms of Giardia infection include abdominal swelling, cramping abdominal pain, fatigue, fever, excessive gas, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss. Symptoms of dehydration may develop.
How does the doctor treat giardiasis?
Treatment for giardiasis includes oral fluids, clear liquid diet, medications to control vomiting, medications for diarrhea, and oral antibiotics.
Continue to Giardia Infection Risk Factors
- Vesy CJ, Peterson WL. Review article: the management of Giardiasis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1999 Jul;13(7):843-50. 
- Welch TP. Risk of giardiasis from consumption of wilderness water in North America: a systematic review of epidemiologic data. Int J Infect Dis. 2000;4(2):100-3.