Giardiasis, an illness that affects the digestive tract, is caused by a microscopic parasite called Giardia lamblia. The parasite attaches itself to the lining of the small intestines in humans, where it sabotages the body's absorption of fats and carbohydrates from digested foods. Giardia is one of the chief causes of diarrhea in the U.S., and is transmitted through contaminated water.
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