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Protozoa
Giardia intestinalis
Disease
Giardiasis
Symptoms
The common symptoms are diarrhea, pale greasy stools, stomach cramps, gas, nausea, vomiting, bloating, weight loss, and weakness and these symptoms usually last for 1 to 2 weeks, sometimes 6 weeks.
Treatment
Antibiotics, such as metronidazole, paromomycin is used to shorten the duration of the infection and to kill the parasite. This disease can spread quickly so it is suggest that the whole family should get treatment at the same time. It is harmful to get treatment during pregnancy, because some medications used to treat this condition can harm the fetus.
Finally, it is very important that you drink enough water and electrolyte-rich drinks (solutions containing sugar and salts) because your body will be losing water due to diarrhea. Signs of dehydration are extreme tiredness; dry skin, mouth, and tongue; sunken eyes; and very little production of urine or tears.
Children are at a higher risk of dehydration than adults due to their small body size, so parents or caregivers should watch for signs of dehydration and ensure that the child drinks plenty of water. Oral rehydration solutions, which are available at pharmacies as liquids or powder packets to mix with water, are an excellent way to keep a child hydrated. If you are mixing electrolyte powder with water, make sure the water is clean to avoid reinfection.
Preventive measures
  • Do not drink or brush your teeth and wash food or dishes with untreated water from streams, rivers, or lakes, even if they look sparkling clean. Make sure you boil water from these sources for 1 to 2 minutes (or 3 minutes if you are at a high altitude) before use.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after eating, preparing food, changing diapers, and using the toilet.
  • Do not send a child who is infected and cannot control his or her bowel movements to daycare or school.
  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming in public pools or lakes. Chlorine commonly used in swimming pools will not kill the cysts.
  • Try to eat well-cooked hot foods and always peel raw vegetables and fruit
 
 
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