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Question: Giardia Poll: Ever had it? Please vote! :: Total Votes:43
Poll choices Votes Statistics
I have NOT had Giardia and DON'T treat my water 2  [4.65%]
I have NOT had Giardia and SOMETIMES treat my water 9  [20.93%]
I have NOT had Giardia and ALWAYS treat my water 27  [62.79%]
I HAVE had Giardia, WASN'T treating, WAS diagnosed 1  [2.33%]
I HAVE had Giardia, WASN'T treating, WAS lab tested 2  [4.65%]
I HAVE had Giardia, WASN'T treating, WASN'T diagnosed 0  [0.00%]
I HAVE had Giardia, WAS treating, WAS diagnosed 0  [0.00%]
I HAVE had Giardia, WAS treating, WAS lab tested 2  [4.65%]
I HAVE had Giardia, WAS treating, WASN'T diagnosed 0  [0.00%]
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Topic: Giardia Poll: Ever had it? Please vote!, Giardiasis Survey for Backpackers< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 06 2012, 11:32 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This post applies to backcountry water sources only

By "treating" I mean boiling, filtering, chemical treatment

By "diagnosed" I mean a Doctor confirmed you had it

Lab tested means a lab confirmed your diagnosis

Thanks for your vote!


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 06 2012, 12:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yep, had it in 1999 or 2000?? Doctor ordered the stoll test. Came back positive. I had to take antibiotics for a while.

I picked giardia up in the Rawah Wilderness (CO) on a backpacking trip. I filtered my water with a Pur Hiker water filter (still do). I'm not sure what I did wrong to pick up the nasty little parasites.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 06 2012, 1:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Apparently I had it when a kid - probably from a public swimming pool.  I don't remember it, and never was treated as best I can recollect.

Based on water studies, the chances of getting Giardia are low in the greatest percentage of the Sierra and Cascades.  Rockies (including Canada) are a bit riskier because of higher density of water mammals.   I'd certainly filter most water outside of USA/Canada.

The filter (or equivalent) is good emotional support tho.

The chances of getting some nasty critter is high just in camp if you don't practice good hygiene.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 06 2012, 2:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

poor hygiene is probably the biggest reason people get it.

with that said, I'd still be filtering everything I got outside of high mountain springs.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 06 2012, 2:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

i've had the "trail trots" but it wasn't confirmed to be giardia. I typically filter, but I took the source for granted and just had a bad day of hiking having to stop all the time.

Not sure if it was food, giardia, or just bad bowels... sorry I'm not much help.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 06 2012, 6:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I always treat my water now, but I drank some very questionable water as a kid (teen).
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 06 2012, 7:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I did not enter a vote since I have not had it personally, but my college roommate was diagnosed and lab tested positive after a bp'g  trip we were on together. Neither of us used any water treatment.

~ 10 yrs ago, 2 close climbing buddies of mine were diagnosed and tested positive after a large Holiday group camp-in/climbing trip in WY that I attended.

I used a filter and was fine, they used no treatment.

One of my old college buddies went to work for the CO CDC back in the mid/ late '80's and his job was to trap and test the guts of muskrats/beavers in the high country of CO to determine the percentage of disease vectors.

He told me it was nearly 100%.

I've always filtered or boiled since.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 08 2012, 7:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Step right up and cast your vote! Tell your stories. Give your opinion.

It's an important topic, and should be genuinely educational.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 08 2012, 11:12 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I haven't had it and filter my water most of the time. There is a stream at a local favorite camp site I drink directly from because I'm near the headwaters and know there are no beavers or livestock upstream.

I have a good friend who got giardia after a trip to CO. He was using a MIOX and didn't follow the directions during treatment.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 10 2012, 3:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

When I was working as an epidemiologist I investigated lots of Giardia cases.  The majority of cases were in very young children and linked to such places as daycares.  Older children were frequently linked to camps.  In both situation person to person transmission due to poor hygiene was the problem.  We did have cases linked to pools and interactive fountains that did not meet the code for chlorine level or were just way over crowded.   In these cases we frequently found parents let children into the poor or fountain in diapers.  In one case a child sat on an interactive fountain thus cleaning the diaper which then recirculated the now contaminated water.  Cases in adults were often linked to their young children and poor hygiene.  We had very few cases linked to hiking and backpacking.   Of course there are other ways to pick up Giardia such as contaminated wells, interaction with pets or livestock that have the bug etc.

Physicians often do not get the diagnosis right as they order bacterial stool test and not parasite testing.  Ordering bacterial along with O&P (oval and parasite) is the best but lab testing is not cheap.  

I have known people who Giardia and other protozoan infections that went for months without the correct diagnosis or treatment.  In one case there was an outbreak of a non-Giardia protozoon in the group of doctors and they never came up with the correct diagnosis.  It was not until the health department became involved that the correct diagnosis was made.  

So if you think you have Giardia tell you doc of your exposure and ask for the O&P test along with the bacteria.  You will then have a better chance of getting the diagnosis and the correct treatment.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 12 2012, 9:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Got it a couple years ago when I was hiking solo for a week in the Adks. I filtered or treated my water all but one time I drank from a small stream directly below a summit*. I was pushing myself severely during the hike, so I'd bet I had a compromised immune system.

Symptoms began all at once about two weeks after the hike. I was riding my bike, and I instantly felt sick and had to pull over. I "limped" home and collapsed on the couch. Severe abdominal cramping, nausea, and fever.

I went to the doctor and she started me on some anti-dyssentery meds (I forget the name). I started feeling better later that day, and was near 100% by the end of the second day of meds. Lab confirmed, and I had to participate in a County Health Dept interview.

Interesting tid-bit: The County Health Dept asked if I had a garden. Apparently, home gardens are a major source of giardia cases when woodchucks, etc wander around. I've been guilty of eating veggies directly from the plants... trying not to do that anymore.

* = I've since bushwhacked to the summit, and found that a hidden ledge just below the summit has obviously been used as a toilet for some time.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 12 2012, 7:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've drank from some pretty nasty water sources, including a stream at Mt. Rogers (VA) filled with wild pony s**t.  However, I always run my water through a purifier.  I've never had Giardia.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 30 2012, 10:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Please cast your vote!

It's an important topic and your experience matters whether you've had giardiasis or not, or treat your water or not.

Thanks!


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 02 2012, 8:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Apparently I may have it now...potentially from a kayak trip in May...getting tested so we'll see. Have been having strange stomach issues and was just chalking it up to stress, but my GI doc is convinced it's something, and Giardia is on the list. I always treat my water, but swimming around in the river sometimes you just get it in your sinuses and apparently that is enough.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 11 2012, 7:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah I had it, but got it while being trashed in a rapid and drank what felt like 2 gallons of the American River before being spit out. Symptoms hit about four days later. Went for two weeks before I finally went to the Dr.

I always treat my hiking water unless I am at a spring's source, and sometimes even then if it looks like it could just be a reappearing creek.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 11 2012, 8:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have not had it yet, and seldom treat my water.  I hike in Oregon, Az, Ca, and other places with mts and beautiful scenery.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 12 2012, 6:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(rayestrella @ Oct. 11 2012, 4:24 pm)
QUOTE
Yeah I had it, but got it while being trashed in a rapid and drank what felt like 2 gallons of the American River before being spit out. Symptoms hit about four days later. Went for two weeks before I finally went to the Dr.

I always treat my hiking water unless I am at a spring's source, and sometimes even then if it looks like it could just be a reappearing creek.

Oh oh. Same river. Waiting for results.

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...there's just something about him.

Something around the eyes...I don't know...reminds me of...me. No. I'm sure of it, I hate him.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 14 2012, 11:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I voted that I've never had giardia and treat sometimes. What I mean by sometimes is that I always treat now, but never treated when I was younger.

Heck, the most primative place I lived when I was younger was a house I rented next to a creek flowing out the mountains with only a couple other houses upstream.The house had no well and all my drinking water came directly from the creek. I lived there 2 years with no problems (outskirts of Reno, NV). There were beaver dams upstream. Maybe I was just lucky.

This is an interesting thread.

---George
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 15 2012, 10:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Haven't had it, know a lot of people who've been treated for confirmed cases, including the water rescue team. (No way to filter water while pulling bodies out of rivers.) And one dog.

All backcountry water sources.

I also know lots who haven't had it, but that says nothing since half of folks who've been exposed are merely carriers and don't go symptomatic, and we'll never know who those are.

One person I know doesn't even treat high country water, thinks she can tell what source is "good," and more power to her - I filter.


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