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Giardia: Some surprising facts on "Beaver Fever"

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  • Giardia: Some surprising facts on "Beaver Fever"

    Recently I've run across some articles downplaying the chances of getting Giardia, some going so far as to claim that getting it from drinking water is a "myth." I did a bunch of research to find out how often people actually get Giardia. I could find two studies where people were tested for Giardia before and after an outdoor trip. In one, either 2 or 3 people out of 35 got Giardia. In the other, 6 out of 25 got it! So it's common. Good hygiene is probably at least as important for gastro-intestinal health, but Giardia can be a very big deal indeed, as many of us have unfortunately found out for ourselves.

    Anyway, I posted a lot more information here because I want people to know that while treating water is optional, Giardia is no myth. Please check it out!

  • #2
    Yeah...but it's a fantastic weight loss program!!!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Frostbitten View Post
      Yeah...but it's a fantastic weight loss program!!!
      I think the one post I cited said the average person lost over 10 pounds and was sick for almost a month.

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      • #4
        Took me awhile to catch on and start treating water. I only began treating water in '08 with iodine tablets and this year I'm moving up to the purifier/filter. I've floated creeks with beaver dams in them and drank the water; nary a problem. When my buddy started hunting with me in '06 he was privy to the whole filter/purifier equipment and began converting me to being a believer in treated water. I'll take your word for it that beaver fever sucks...

        Tim

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        • #5
          I will go toe to toe in a verbal spar with any so called expert that claims getting giardia from drinking water is a myth. I will not be nice about it. I've had it twice and it SUCKS. I was sick as a dog both times and even after long rounds of metronidazole, it took months to feel better...

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          • #6
            My hunting partner and I can both atest to getting Giardia here in Alaska. My buddy got it a couple years ago and I got it last year, both on moose hunts. Even with using a purifier you need to be careful, lessons learned the hard way

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            • #7
              gestation period?

              Originally posted by akhunter02 View Post
              My hunting partner and I can both atest to getting Giardia here in Alaska. My buddy got it a couple years ago and I got it last year, both on moose hunts. Even with using a purifier you need to be careful, lessons learned the hard way
              How long generally between drinking the bad water and seeing effects? Isn't it like 2 days or so? I've drunk straight from fast moving water a day or before I'd be home, in the hope that at least if I got it I'd be home to deal with it.

              Dealt with it once in the field while tent camping; that was memorable. After a couple days of it my stomach muscles were so weak I couldn't even sit up; had to turn on my side, then bend, then rise. Horrible.

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              • #8
                In both cases, for me it was 6-7 days....

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by FamilyMan View Post
                  How long generally between drinking the bad water and seeing effects? Isn't it like 2 days or so?
                  I think the average is about 7-10 days, with 3-25 days or more being the outside parameters. So if something hits you less than three days after drinking from a questionable source, it's probably something else.

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                  • #10
                    Steri pen?

                    Does anyone use the steri pen (successfully). I don't like the idea of putting chemicals in my water, so I usually carry enough, or drink beer instead.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by FamilyMan View Post
                      Does anyone use the steri pen (successfully). I don't like the idea of putting chemicals in my water, so I usually carry enough, or drink beer instead.
                      You would be shocked at what's in drinking water as it is, no matter where you get it. Adding a little chlorine is no big deal.

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                      • #12
                        I`m NO expert on Giardia!!! That being said a few of my hunting partners over the last ten years or so have contracted this problem off and on using the same water and pretty much doing all the same things I did as we hunted the same place. Am I that rotten a person that these germs can`t affect me or are these guys *****s susceptible to everythng?????? I have drank downstream from many beaver dams in my life(not intentionally) but never had a problem. Are some people more apt to have a problem than others????

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by alottabs View Post
                          Are some people more apt to have a problem than others????
                          That's a provable fact. Look at all the people in tijuana that do NOT have giardia.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dkwarthog View Post
                            I will go toe to toe in a verbal spar with any so called expert that claims getting giardia from drinking water is a myth. I will not be nice about it. I've had it twice and it SUCKS. I was sick as a dog both times and even after long rounds of metronidazole, it took months to feel better...
                            Having had beaver fever one whole summer, I fully agree with you on every word you wrote but one: giardia doesn't SUCK it blows (and blows, and blows). For the last 20 some years I have faithfully boiled every drop of water I have drunk out in the woods unless I collected it from rain or snow. I even melt/boil ice because I'm not sure those little dickens can't be frozen and still cause trouble.

                            Funny how it seems it was never a problem until the 80s.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by alottabs View Post
                              I`m NO expert on Giardia!!! That being said a few of my hunting partners over the last ten years or so have contracted this problem off and on using the same water and pretty much doing all the same things I did as we hunted the same place. Am I that rotten a person that these germs can`t affect me or are these guys *****s susceptible to everythng?????? I have drank downstream from many beaver dams in my life(not intentionally) but never had a problem. Are some people more apt to have a problem than others????
                              Giardia is a parasite that can be passed on from any warm blooded critter, not just beavers. Any critter that poops in or near the water can pass it along. Additionally, just because water is moving, that doesn't make it safe...where is it moving from?

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