Water pollution occurs as a result of changes in the nature, quality, and properties of water that make it unsuitable for use. It occurs when foreign or polluting substances such as chemicals, radioactive substances, heavy metals, or bacteria get introduced into water sources,
whether groundwater or surface water, such as lakes, creeks, rivers, estuaries, oceans, etc. Touching or drinking contaminated water can cause many illnesses, including giardiasis.
Giardiasis is an intestinal illness caused by the parasite Giardia lamblia that lives in contaminated water. It can cause dehydration and impair the performance of bodily functions. Although it occurs primarily in developing countries, it is also a common cause of water-borne illnesses in developed countries. Children are among the most vulnerable to giardiasis compared to adults, but the human body can develop a degree of immunity to combat this parasite over time. Two-thirds of people infected with this organism may not exhibit symptoms of giardiasis, but some cases may appear suddenly and become more pronounced or worsen slowly, and sometimes the symptoms of giardiasis can subside and reappear after several days or weeks.
Giardia infection can cause a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, whether feces are oily or watery, bloating or gas, abdominal cramps, stomach pain, nausea or vomiting, dehydration which can lead to weight loss, feeling very tired for a long time, headache, lack of intake of fats, lactose, vitamin A and vitamin B and milk sugar. Other less common symptoms include skin itching, rash, swollen eyes and joints, and severe giardiasis can delay the physical and mental development of children and make them suffer from malnutrition. Symptoms of giardiasis usually start 1-3 weeks after infection and may last 2-6 weeks, and medications may help reduce the duration of symptoms.
Giardiasis can occur in several ways. It can be transmitted via drinking water contaminated with Giardia cysts as a result of mixing water with sewers. Or consuming undercooked fruit or vegetables that have been washed with contaminated water. Also, after consuming fruits and vegetables grown in a garden that uses contaminated compost. Contact feces, diapers, or objects contaminated with feces, and do not wash your hands much later. And last but not least, direct contact with an infected person or animal without using sterilizers.
Giardia has many complications, although not life-threatening in developed countries, but it can cause long-term symptoms and severe complications, especially among infants and children, such as diarrhea, which is the most common and dangerous, occurs following severe diarrhea that drains the body of water, and that leads to the failure of the body’s biological functions, malnutrition and the damage inflicted on children’s physical and mental development.
Giardia spores are present in feces, and hence in water contaminated with feces. Giardia microbes spread easily between people. As a result, it is necessary to keep the body and hands clean. If you are swimming in or touching potentially contaminated water, wash your hands thoroughly with soapy water. Do not drink raw water and use bottled water instead. And avoid eating vegetables and fruits that can be sprayed with contaminated water.