This waterborne disease is shared through contaminated water, most often in ponds and streams, but it can also be found in a town’s water supply, swimming pools, and more. The infection is caused by a parasite and typically clears up after a few weeks. However, it’s possible for those who have been exposed will experience intestinal problems for years to come.
- Abdominal pain
- Cramps and bloating
- Weight loss
Prevention and Treatment
While there is no vaccine for giardia, there are simple ways to avoid the infection. Wash your hands with soap often, don’t swallow water while swimming, and drink only bottled water.
With time, the immune system will typically beat giardia on its own. But, if symptoms worsen, doctors prescribe anti-parasite and antibiotic medications.
Water-poor communities cannot protect themselves from illnesses like giardia, and treatment for this illness can come at a high cost for a family living in poverty. For these reasons, Lifewater’s programs focus on long-term prevention. This includes constructing safe water sources and teaching health practices, one house at a time, until the entire community has the resources and the knowledge to prevent waterborne illness.
GIVE SAFE WATER WITH LIFEWATER TODAY
When families learn how to construct their own handwashing facilities, bathrooms, and dish drying racks, they take control of their health. They check off a list of basic health practices, and they become certified Lifewater “Healthy Homes.”