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Asymtomatic giardiasis?


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Home Forums General Forums Food, Hydration, and Nutrition Asymtomatic giardiasis?

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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  • #3786505
    Chris K
    BPL Member

    @cmkannen-2-2

    Today I learned you can have Giardia in your body, but exhibit no symptoms. This makes sense of course, but isn’t something I considered when reading anecdotes of people who say they don’t treat their water and never get sick. It might not be the drink, but the drinker.

    In any event, last week I was a mile or two into a planned half day trail run to a relatively obscure alpine basin when I realized I grabbed the soft flask that had the regular cap, not the filter cap I intended to bring! 500 ml for several hours in the sun… Oh well, there will be plenty of delicious, cold clean water everywhere once I get up high I told myself. So, I filled my bottle above treeline, from a trickling south-facing stream below a steep rock face still holding snow. As it emerged from a talus slope, I scooped it up and drank heartily. No symptoms yet ;)

    #3786513
    DWR D
    BPL Member

    @dwr-2

    I think most backpackers would not bother to treat that water… I might out of habit, but would feel pretty good about not treating it… I think the odds are very high that water was not infected with anything bad…

     

    #3786514
    Terran Terran
    BPL Member

    @terran

    I hardly ever filtered in the back country when I was close to the source. Sometimes there’s an excess of vegetation or minerals and I’d filter for taste. You can tell if a spring has been trampled or you can smell the musk odor.

    It’s mostly around people.

    #3786527
    DWR D
    BPL Member

    @dwr-2

    “It’s mostly around people”

    Not so sure about that. Most people come from a town or a city… and most people in those places do not have Giardia to spread… (other things, maybe)… I would guess that most Giardia is spread by animals… In any case, few animals or people up high above tree line.

    #3786529
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    There are an awful lot of giardia cases in New York City. Not too many wild animals there.

    #3786542
    DWR D
    BPL Member

    @dwr-2

    Aren’t all those ‘animals’ in NYC wild?  :)

     

    #3786544
    DWR D
    BPL Member

    @dwr-2

    Even just one tenth of one percent of the people living in cities would be “an awful lot of Giardia cases”…  My guess is people are not the primary spreaders of Giardia in water sources out in nature… But then, maybe the people v animals is a false distinction… we people are, after all, animals…

    #3786564
    Terran Terran
    BPL Member

    @terran

    If there’s a large animal population, I would filter. I guess beavers. Bears go in the water. You can see their pools and go upstream. I’ve seen trampled springs that smelled like sheep, that I wouldn’t touch. Generally if it’s coming out of the ground, it’s filtered.

    #3786565
    DWR D
    BPL Member

    @dwr-2

    And Birds !

    #3786579
    Chris K
    BPL Member

    @cmkannen-2-2

    There was a moose nearby, but I selected water above where I thought it spent time.

    My anecdote aside, I just found it interesting that Giardia symptoms can occur by degrees, from serious cases to nothing at all. If you’re someone who doesn’t filter and doesn’t get sick, perhaps the water did contain Giardia but you are immune.

    #3786584
    DWR D
    BPL Member

    @dwr-2

    I wonder if there can be long term health consequences even for those who have no short term symptoms?

    #3786593
    John S.
    BPL Member

    @jshann

    Here is a ‘StatPearl’ on Giardiasis, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513239/

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