Infections and Symptoms
Giardia lives inside the intestines of infected humans or other animals. Individuals become infected through ingesting or coming into contact with contaminated food, soil, or water. The Giardia parasite spreads when a person accidently swallows it, which can originate from contaminated items and surfaces that have been tainted by the feces of an infected human or animal. Consuming unsanitary water or food is also another way in which the parasite can transfer from being to being.
The symptoms of Giardia, which may begin to appear 1-2 weeks after infection, include diarrhea, excess gas, stomach or abdominal cramps, and upset stomach or nausea. The result of these occurrences is weight loss and/or dehydration, which can be harmful if not treated immediately. The typical infection within an individual is around 2-6 weeks, but medication can decrease that time period.