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What is Giardia?

On routine infection screening, we have found that you have an infection called Giardia. This means you have been infected with a parasite. The parasite lives in your bowels causing symptoms like diarrhoea and stomach pain.

How do you get infected with Giardia?

An infected person will pass out Giardia cysts in their stool. This can spread if you do not wash your hands after going to the toilet, through food or water that have been contaminated by the infection, or if an infected person is involved in food preparation. Giardia can also be transmitted by sexual contact.

What symptoms does Giardia cause?

  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach pain
  • Bloating
  • Passing wind
  • Dehydration

Symptoms usually last for one week, however in some people Giardia causes a longer infection that can last for months or years if it isn’t treated. This can cause tiredness, feeling sick, reduced appetite and weight loss. Some people do not have any symptoms.

How do we treat Giardia?

Giardia can be treated with medication that will kill the parasite. You will be given a medication called tinidazole, which is a tablet that you will need to take just once. This will be free of charge.

How do you prevent the spread of Giardia?

It is important to wash your hands after using the toilet or changing nappies, and before preparing food and drinks.