Compiled By: Julie A. Albrecht, Ph.D., Associate Professor
The Organism: Giardia lamblia is a flagellate protozoa (single cell animal). In the stable cyst stage, the organism can be shed in the feces of infected humans. The cyst cannot multiply outside of a living host.
Sources of the organism:
- Intestinal tracts of infected animals and humans
- Any food handled by an infected food handler
- Protozoa which can survive normal water chlorination.
The Disease: Giardiasis results from the consumption of the cyst stage of the Giardia lamblia protozoa.
- 1-4 weeks
- Consuming 1 or more cysts may cause the symptoms of the illness to develop.
Duration of symptoms:
- Proper disposal of feces and wastewater treatment.
- Proper filtration before chlorination of the water supply.
- Cooking contaminated foods.
- Boiling suspect water.
- Use proper hand washing techniques and practice good personal hygiene procedures.