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Kindom: MastigophoraClass: ZoomastigophoraOrder: DiplomonadaFamily: HexamitidaeGenus: GiardiaSpecies: Lamblia
PREVENTION:Use a water purification method such as boiling, filtration, or iodine treatment before drinking surface water. Hikers or others who use surface water should consider all sources as potentially contaminated. Workers in day care centers or institutions should use good handwashing and hygiene techniques when going from child to child or patient to patient. Safer sexual practices, especially regarding sex, may decrease the risk of contracting or spreading giardiasis
PEOPLE AT RISK:Travelers are at risk for giardiasis throughout the world. Campers and hikers are at risk if they drink untreated water from streams and lakes. Other risk factors include: Exposure to a family member with giardiasis,Institutional (day care or nursing home) exposure,Unprotected sex
PROBLEM:Giardiasis outbreaks can occur in communities in both developed and developing countries where water supplies become contaminated with raw sewage.
TREATMENT:Some infections go away on their own. Anti-infective medicines may be used. Cure rates are generally greater than 80%. Drug resistance may be a factor in treatment failures, sometimes requiring a change in antibiotic therapy.In pregnant women, treatment should wait until after delivery, because some drugs used to treat the infection can be harmful to the unborn baby.
HOW IT CAN BE TRANSMITTED:It can be contracted by drinking water from lakes or streams where water-dwelling animals such as beavers and muskrats, or domestic animals such as sheep, have caused contamination. It is also spread by direct person-to-person contact, which has caused outbreaks in institutions such as day care centers.