Paranoia about ingestibles (food, water) aside, being sick on a Trail is dangerous. It’s also really embarrassing!
Girardia is a one celled critter and is considered a parasite. It is passed through one’s poop. Euu! It may be passed in your neighborhood swimming pool. Chlorine in the swimming pool water generally kills Giardia. You can also pick it up from others humans, or infected wild and domestic animals.
Only a clinic or doctor can diagnose and test. Like many parasites, it is wily and hard to kill, assuming many forms.
Wash your hands with soap and water already! Hand sanitizer may not kill Girardia!!
Having Girardia, You will NOT be able to control #2 no matter what! A warm stream of poop ravages your sleeping bag, tent; just walking. Everything WILL have a smelly, huge, brown liquid poop stain!
Did I say smelly?
For many, human parasites, a visit to the doctor necessary. Individuals can not treat symptoms or eliminate the pesky microscopic critters without diagnosis and meds. Plus, you may be so weak, recuperation necessary.
Having been sick. I dragged myself to a clinic to be treated. Interested in diagnosis, I had the clinic show me their microscope findings. The image on your left is a stained slide In real life, they are not colored. They are “clear”. They stick to your guts and happily reproduce.
Having reliable water filtration necessary. Even lake swimming with your mouth open, consuming unpeeled fruit, handling any poop can give you a parasite.
Once, high in the U.S. mountains, desperate for water, I was drawn to what looked like fresh flowing sparkling clean water. I hiked further up the flow and found a dead moose in the water.
When I went to India, so paranoid about anything passing my lips, I bought a pricey MSR Water red Water Filtration Pump.
But it’s too heavy to carry hiking. I carry a Sawyer filter and wear surgical gloves, filter water, then boil same for certainty. The Sawer can only do so much; boiling generally finishes sanitation. Paranoid?
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