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Is it safe to drink the water?

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by

Tamara Osborn

on 19 May 2014

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Transcript of Is it safe to drink the water?

Trophozoites cause Giardiasis. These protists can live in the intestines of warm blooded animals. They can produce millions of disease causing offspring in about 10 days.
These parasites coat the intestines of their host, which prevents the host from absorbing nutrients and water. The parasites are then released into the environment.
What is
Giardia lamblia
?
Is it safe to drink the water?
These tough walled cysts can survive in ice and snow and stored water.

One cyst is approximately 10 microns in diameter.
Cyst form of Giardia
So, what is Giardia?
Giardia
organisms have two different forms during their life cycle. One form is a tough walled cyst. The other is the trophozoite form shown below.
Trophozooite: It is a Protist!

People love to camp in Colorado.
When you are hiking in the wilderness,
the water in the streams looks crystal clear. But is it?

Is it safe to drink the water?
Recreation
Campers and hikers think that fast moving streams and rivers offer clean water. This is not true!

Actually, cysts may sink in quieter waters.
MYTH
In the wilderness, the answer is usually

NO!
Person to person contact is the most common way
Giardia
is spread. There are around 100 cases of
Giardia
identified in Larimer County every year.

How does Giardia travel through the body?
OR.....
Add a chemical disinfectant to the water. Iodine works better than clorine.

However, some people dislike the taste and odor of iodine-treated water.
What are other ways to sterilize water?
Filter the water using a commercial filter specially designed for treating water. These can be expensive.

OR.......Treat the water with a portable ultraviolet light that is designed to purify water.
So.... how can you make water safe to drink in the wilderness?
Heating water to at
least 70 degrees C for
10 minutes is an
acceptable alternative
treatment.
How can I avoid getting Giardiasis?
Practice good hygiene

Avoid water (drinking or recreational) that may be contaminated

Avoid eating food that may be contaminated
Prevent contact and contamination with feces (poop)
What are symptoms of Giardia?
Some people with giardia infection never develop signs or symptoms but still carry the parasite and can spread it to others through their stool. For those who do get sick, signs and symptoms usually appear one to two weeks after exposure and may include:

Watery, sometimes foul-smelling diarrhea that may alternate with soft, greasy stools
Fatigue or malaise=== Abdominal cramps and bloating
Belching gas with a bad taste=== Nausea=== Weight loss

Signs and symptoms of giardia infection usually last two to four weeks, but in some people they last longer or recur.
"Beaver Fever" shows up
3 t0 5 days after exposure
Full transcript