Giardiasis aka Beaver Fever By: Andrew Marmo Sources ► The MERK Manual ► Google Images ► http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth /PMH0001333 Cause ►Giardiasis is an infection of the small intestine caused by Giardia lamblia, a single-celled parasite. Giardia lamblia Transmission ► Giardiasis is caused by ingestion of infective cysts. Usually contracted by drinking water containing cysts. ► 3 modes host-to-host water-borne and venereal Vector/Reservoirs ► Giardia has no vector. It can survive in cold water without a host for several months. ► It is found in humans, and a wide variety of other aquatic and semi-aquatic mammals such as beavers, muskrats, and other small rodents. ► It is also found in some varieties of birds. Cyst and Trophozoite Symptoms ► Gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal cramps, watery diarrhea, vomiting, and fever which may last for 3–4 days. ► Other symptoms include loss of appetite, malaise, and fatigue. Severity ► Giardiasis is usually self-limiting, although the infection can be prolonged in hosts who have a weak immune system, or who have decreased gastric acid secretion. ► It can also be deadly to hosts with compromised immune systems like the elderly or AIDS patients. Prevention ► Boil stream or lake water if your in the woods. You never know what’s up stream. ► ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS!