Giardiasis is an intestinal infection caused by the parasite Giardia. You may become infected by ingesting contaminated food or water. Exposure to the stool of someone who`s infected can also cause infection.
When to Go to the Emergency Room (ER)
Get medical help for severe symptoms that include:
- Stomach bloating or fullness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Unplanned weight loss
- Blood in your stool
What to Expect in the ER
You will be examined and will likely have a stool culture. This checks a sample of your stool for the parasite that causes the disease. If giardiasis is suspected or confirmed, you may be prescribed medication that you take for 5 to 7 days. In many cases, this clears the infection.
Take these steps to help prevent infection with Giardia:
- Wash your hands after using the bathroom and before eating.
- Wash your hands each time you change a child's diaper.
- Avoid drinking from rivers and streams.
- Wash or peel raw produce before using.