Infectious Diseases: Giardia



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Symptoms

Some children have no symptoms. Others have diarrhea, bowel movements with a very bad smell, stomach cramps, gas, loss of appetite and weight.

Cause

Giardia is a parasite that causes a bowel infection. It is common in children in child care centres, especially if there are children in diapers.

Treatment

There are medications to treat giardia. A doctor may have to take three stool samples on three different days to confirm the diagnosis.

Transmission/prevention

Giardia may be spread on the hands of someone who has changed a diaper or used a toilet. The spread can be prevented by careful hand-washing after changing the diaper and going to the toilet, and before preparing food and eating. If your child has been diagnosed with Giardia and is ill, he should not attend daycare or school until the diarrhea has stopped.

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