View Poll Results: Have You Had Giardia? Vote!

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  • I have NOT had Giardia and don't treat my water

    87 31.18%
  • I have NOT had Giardia and treat my water

    133 47.67%
  • I HAD Giardia, but wasn't diagnosed

    13 4.66%
  • I HAD Giardia, diagnosed by a physician

    19 6.81%
  • I HAD Giardia, diagnosed and confirmed by lab tests

    29 10.39%
  • I know I got Giardia from drinking water

    26 9.32%
  • I know I got Giardia some other way

    5 1.79%
  • I am not sure how I got Giardia

    2 0.72%
  • I was treating my drinking water when I got Giardia

    10 3.58%
  • I was not treating my drinking water when I got Giardia

    27 9.68%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Giardia Poll: Please vote!

  1. #41
    Member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Giardia incubation period, infectious dose0.

    The incubation period can be as little as 3 days although the average is about 7-10 days. The 3 day figure is something to consider, because I often hear people say "by the time I get really sick, I'll be home."

    It's been calculated that there is a 2% chance of contracting Giardiasis after ingesting a single cyst. The 10-25 cyst infective dose figure is oft-repeated, but seems a clear misinterpretation of a single, highly limited study.

  2. #42
    Member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Giardia poll results to date

    Looking at the results of the poll with 192 respondents as of today I see this:

    Of 82 people who reported not treating their water, 20 reported getting Giardiasis. That's an infection rate of 24.4%.

    Of 95 people who reported treating their water, 7 reported getting Giardiasis.
    That's an infection rate of about 7.4%.

    Based solely on this poll, a person is 3 times as likely to get Giardiasis if they don't treat their water, closely matching this scientific survey.

    If you haven't completed this poll, please do.

  3. #43
    Member sheep man's Avatar
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    Default

    The short answer,if you grew up drinking well water and living in ak your chaces of getting giardia are slim to none...just like mexico,we don't drink there water,but the locals seems to drink it without any issues....
    I ♥ Big Sheep

  4. #44
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheep man View Post
    The short answer,if you grew up drinking well water and living in ak your chaces of getting giardia are slim to none...just like mexico,we don't drink there water,but the locals seems to drink it without any issues....
    I don't know about all that. Not too many critters pooping into underground aquifers, therefore, drinking well water while growing up would do very little to make you immune to giardia.

  5. #45
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Default

    Cipro is not used to treat giardia, which is an intestinal parasite. Cipro is generally effective for E. coli ("traveler's diarrhea") intestinal infections. I have had giardia multiple times (always symptomatic) and treat acute and chronic infections ( in others) not infrequently.
    "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"

  6. #46
    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    I don't know about all that. Not too many critters pooping into underground aquifers, therefore, drinking well water while growing up would do very little to make you immune to giardia.
    Grew up drinking well water in Copper Center. I've had giardia twice.

    My doctor said something like 1/3 of the population is a carrier and as such would never show symptoms.
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  7. #47
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlingitwarrior View Post
    Grew up drinking well water in Copper Center. I've had giardia twice.

    My doctor said something like 1/3 of the population is a carrier and as such would never show symptoms.
    My point was that in order for water to be contamnated with giardia, a warm blooded mammal must excrete waste into the water. That is generally not a problem associated with ground (well) water. Certainly there are shallow wells (less than 50 feet or so) that can be contaminated due to the aquifer being recharged by a surface water body, poor well construction, uncased etc.

    I don't doubt you've had giardia twice, but if you grew up drinking the well water, and only got sick twice, chances are you got the bug from another source, not the well.

  8. #48
    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    My point was that in order for water to be contamnated with giardia, a warm blooded mammal must excrete waste into the water. That is generally not a problem associated with ground (well) water. Certainly there are shallow wells (less than 50 feet or so) that can be contaminated due to the aquifer being recharged by a surface water body, poor well construction, uncased etc.

    I don't doubt you've had giardia twice, but if you grew up drinking the well water, and only got sick twice, chances are you got the bug from another source, not the well.
    I was trying to agree with your point! But didn't do it so well. I agree that there is no relationship to well water drinking, and immunity to giardia. I grew up on well water. In the last 10 years I've gotten giardia twice while out hunting. I would have gotten that giardia if I grew up on well water, or city tap water. Some people show symptoms, some do not. In both of my hunts that I got it, nobody hunting wiith me got it.
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  9. #49
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlingitwarrior View Post
    I was trying to agree with your point! But didn't do it so well. I agree that there is no relationship to well water drinking, and immunity to giardia. I grew up on well water. In the last 10 years I've gotten giardia twice while out hunting. I would have gotten that giardia if I grew up on well water, or city tap water. Some people show symptoms, some do not. In both of my hunts that I got it, nobody hunting wiith me got it.
    Right on, I agree. That giardia is a great weight loss program isn't it?

  10. #50
    Member Jktimm's Avatar
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    I have had it twice. Once when I had a mechanical problem in Minto flats and had to walk out, and once on the Yukon when our boat ran out of gas. Each time we ran out of water after a while and resorted to drinking what we could. The fever (and other worse effects) came on in a few days, but by then I was safe at home and a little pink pill dispatched it directly.

  11. #51
    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    When I'm up high I don't fret much about drinking unfiltered water... in the lowlands I won't however. I ran out sheep hunting a couple of years ago and just filled up my containers at a stream shooting out of the rocks at 6000'- no problems. My partner refused to drink for another day and got really sick from dehydration. He finally turned his nose up and drank some- he was sure he'd be sick but didn't contract anything.

    I don't think I'd try that in some bog down in beaver and moose country though.
    I personally think that Giardia, while very real, has been over hyped to the point people lose all rational thought about it...to hear some tell it you'd think the human race would have died out from it eons ago.
    My answer: I was treating my drinking water when I got Giardia ! Like Hodgeman I don't usually treat my water when hunting at higher elevations and I "thought" Giardia was over hyped, until I got a bout of it last year on my Moose hunt.

    I have hunted this location for several years and usually treat or boil my water. After successfully avoiding Giardia for several years, I started getting more and more relaxed about treating my water. Last year right at the end of my Moose Hunt I made a pot of coffee that I did not boil for 3 min.s. The wife even mentioned something about it and would not drink any of the coffee. Wholly smoke talk about a quick weight loss program. yuk!

    The good news was it happened right as I returned home, the drugs these days knock it out very quickly and the doc set me up with a refill to carry in the field.
    This was a remote float hunt and if this would have happened at the beginning or during the hunt, it could have ruined the hunt for the whole party. That would have been awful, especially for my friends that flew-up to hunt with me. Over hyped or not I plan to take it more serious going forward. I don't want to spend the whole year planning for and getting excited about a hunt, only to have it end early simply because I did not use a little precaution.
    Last edited by cusackla; 06-18-2011 at 16:56. Reason: typo

  12. #52

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    Recent studies have shown that much of what has been labeled as Giardia is actually E. Coli from poor sanitation in camp.
    The only way to verify is a lab test to show Giardia in your feces.

  13. #53
    Member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akraven View Post
    Recent studies have shown that much of what has been labeled as Giardia is actually E. Coli from poor sanitation in camp.
    The only way to verify is a lab test to show Giardia in your feces.
    You last statement is true, but an experienced physician can be fairly confident at diagnosing Giardiasis without lab tests. One thing this poll illustrates is that Giardia is commonly diagnosed by lab tests. 11 percent; of the respondents have had Giardiasis confirmed by lab tests, not even counting those that were diagnosed without tests by a doctor.

    Undoubtedly people commonly believe they have Giardiasis when in fact is it something else, but the reverse is true, also. The CDC estimates there are 2 1/2 MILLION cases in the U.S. annually.

    It looks to me that about 1/4 of the respondents to this survey have had Giardiasis, and the infection rate for people who don't treat their water is triple of those that do. As a reminder, according to my research of tests run on people before and after backcountry trips, 5-24 percent contracted giardiasis. If that sounds high, it's likely due in part to the fact that many people are asymptomatic.


    Whether it's worth taking the chance or not is a personal choice.

  14. #54
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    I got Giardia on a moose hunt a couple of years back. We had shot a moose 1 mile from the river and had to pack it back down. During the multiple trips I ran out of water and there was a nice clear stream coming out of the mountain side. I filled my water bottle out of that stream thinking it would be ok (up high and coming out the mountain). About 7-8 days later I knew something was wrong but at least I was at home by then. The doctor run test and told me I had Giardia. By then I was so sick they wanted to put me in the hospital.

    We treat all our water when out hunting even if we know we are going to be boiling it to be on the save side. I thought I would be ok that one time until I made it back to the raft so I rolled the dice and ended up with snake eyes. You can never be to carefull.

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  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak sagebrush View Post
    I haven't had giardia since I stopped drinking out of martintrappers wife's water bottle.
    Martentrapper doesn't have a wife and never has. Interesting comment since I haven't a clue who you are.

    As to Giardia, first winter trapping in the wilds of the Nowitna country, drank lake water all winter. Had a spell of the runs but not really sick. I'm assuming I had a mild case, if such is possible. Haven't made any effort to filter water since and haven't had any recurring incidences. Can one build up an immunity?
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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  16. #56
    Member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    ...Can one build up an immunity?
    Apparently so, although it's common to get Giardiasis more than once. The American Medical Association says that about 2/3 of carriers have no symptoms.

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