Navigating Spring’s Waters: Hydration, Recreation, and the Risk of Giardia

The Importance of Timely Antibiotic Intervention

Even crystal clear water can conceal hidden hazards.

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Spring Brings water, water brings risks. 

With spring in full swing and temperatures rising, our thirst (pun intended) for water grows as well. This applies to both the need to stay hydrated and the desire to cool off in our pools, lakes and rivers. As we welcome this wave of water in our lives, it’s important to remember that exposure to hidden perils, such as water-borne illnesses like Giardia, also rises.

 

 

Giardia is the most common intestinal parasitic disease in the U.S. and affects about 1 million people a year.

 

Just how easy is it to get infected?

Giardia spreads very easily. While most commonly contracted through exposure to contaminated water, it can also be spread through contaminated food, surfaces, objects, and even exposure to a person infected with the parasite.

It’s not only potentially contaminated drinking water sources you have to worry about when camping or spending time in the outdoors, but also natural and man-made bodies of water you may use for swimming or water sports (lakes, ponds rivers, streams, public water supplies, wells, cisterns, swimming pools, water parks and spas).

Faucets can provide a false sense of security. Also of high concern is questionable tap water in certain areas you may travel to. Even if you don’t drink it, you may still likely use it for brushing your teeth or showering – which can potentially expose you to Giardia just the same.

What can you do? The best thing you can do to mitigate exposure is be cautious of the sources of the water you consume, and be aware of the potential animals in the surroundings of the water you swim and play in – as they likely use that water too.

Bring your own drinking water or only consume bottled water in places you travel to. If you must use tap water for drinking in a location you are unsure of, then boil the water, use a water filter, or purification tablets.

What if I get exposed to Giardia? Fortunately Giardia infection is not fatal, but can lead to complications in certain individuals if not treated. Reactive arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and recurring diarrhea that can last for years are among the worst prognoses one can be diagnosed with.

 

 

Exposure Rates are High, Effective Treatment is Available

Metronidazole for Treatment of Giardia Infections:

The good news is treatment for Giardiasis exists and is very effective. Metronidazole is the most common and potent medication for Giardia infection, but is not available over the counter. A 5-7 day course of Metronidazole tablets is usually enough to eliminate the infection and its symptoms in over 90% of patients.

Why you should have Metronidazole on hand:

In addition to treating parasitic Giardia infections, Metronidazole is also used to treat certain skin infections, rosacea, oral infections including infected gums or dental abscesses, and bacterial vaginosis and pelvic inflammatory infections.

While you can’t pick up Metronidazole at the store on your family weekend getaway, you can have it with you in our Jase Case, as one of the standard medications our kits come with.

Each standard Jase Case also comes with medications for other infections and illnesses including pneumonia, sinus infection, urinary tract infections, traveller’s diarrhea, Lyme disease, skin, infections and more.

And you can customize your Jase Case with over 30 available add on medications from EpiPens (anaphylaxis), to Ivermectin (parasitic infections), to treat just about anything you may encounter from Influenza (Oseltamivir) to Malaria (Atovaquone-Proguanil).

If there were a prescription for peace of mind, it would be a Jase Case.

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