Giardiasis is an infection of the small intestines caused by Giardia lamblia, which is a parasite that lives in water.  People who travel to developing countries are the most susceptible to Giardiasis.  It is also prevalent among hikers and campers, people who swim in public pools, and children who attend daycare.  Giardiasis is spread via the fecal-oral route. Most people get giardiasis by eating contaminated water or food, or by not properly washing their hands after touching something contaminated with the parasite.  Giardiasis related foodborne illness outbreaks are common in restaurants, where the employees have not received proper food safety training.  Animals, such as dogs, cats, cows, and deer, also carry the parasite and can affect humans.  Giardiasis affect about 2-7% of the people in developed countries and 20-30% of the population in most developing countries.  The Center for Disease Control estimated that there are about 2.5 million cases of Giardias lamblia related food poisonings annually.  People with giardiasis can sometimes recover on their own, but antibiotics are often used to treat giardiasis to lessen the infection period and prevent the parasite from spreading.   

Symptoms of giardiasis include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas or bloating
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low-grade fever
  • Nausea
  • Swollen or distended abdomen
  • Vomiting

If you or a loved one has been a victim of giardiasis by ingesting contaminated food, you may have a food poisoning lawsuitContact one of our food safety lawyers today.

Published November 17, 2011 by