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Giardiasis (say "jee-ar-DYE-uh-sus") is an infection of the intestines caused by the parasite Giardia lamblia. The illness is also called giardia (say "jee-AR-dee-uh").
Giardia can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, gas, and nausea. You may feel sick once and then get better. Or your symptoms may come and go for some time. Some children with giardia do not grow or gain weight normally. Sometimes giardia does not cause any symptoms.
You may become infected with giardia if you eat food or drink water that is tainted with human or animal waste. In Canada and the United States, you can get giardia by drinking untreated water from wells, streams, rivers, and lakes. You also can get giardia from close contact with someone who is infected, such as from working in a daycare centre or nursing home.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor now or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: February 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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