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Giardia (Giardiasis)


Giardia is a parasite that can cause intestinal illness in people and animals. Symptoms may include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and nausea. The parasite is excreted in the feces of infected people or animals, and is transmitted by swallowing the Giardia organism in contaminated water or food. It can also be spread by contaminated surfaces. Giardia infections can last 2 to 6 weeks, but treatment can shorten the infection. You can prevent Giardia infections by practicing good hygiene (wash your hands!), avoiding food that may be contaminated, and avoiding drinking or ingesting water that may be contaminated.

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For a snapshot of five year disease activity for select diseases in Alaska, click here