Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

A to Z: Giardiasis

May also be called: Giardia Intestinalis, Giardia Lamblia, Giardia Duodenalis

Giardiasis (jee-ar-DYE-uh-sis) is an illness of the digestive tract (stomach and intestines). People mostly get it from drinking water that's contaminated with a tiny parasite called Giardia lamblia.

More to Know

Giardia is one of the main causes of diarrhea in the United States. Young kids are more likely to have giardiasis than adults, but anyone can become infected. Most people who are infected with Giardia may have no signs of illness, even though the parasite is living in their intestines.

Giardiasis often starts with watery diarrhea. Kids may also get belly cramps and gas. They might feel sick or throw up. Some kids may have a low-grade fever.

Giardiasis is contagious. It spreads through feces (poop) that might get into food or water, or on hands. Giardiasis can spread to people from infected animals, even a family dog. 

Giardiasis is treated with prescription medicine to kill the parasites.

Keep in Mind

Washing hands well and often can help stop giardiasis from spreading. Kids should wash after playing in lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, aquariums, or "touch tanks." Only drink water that's approved by local health authorities or have well water tested often.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.