Cinnaminson, NJ, November 12, 2013 -- Cinnaminson, NJ, November 12, 2013
Last month, officials in Westmoreland County issued a boil advisory to about 50,000 area residents following a filter inspection as a precautionary measure. County officials were concerned over the possible presence of microbes such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia. Fortunately, tests did not indicate the presence of either, but did identify algae and diatoms.
Giardia is a microscopic parasite that causes the diarrheal illness known as giardiasis. Giardia can be found on surfaces or in soil, food, or water that has been contaminated with feces from infected humans or animals. Giardia cysts are protected by an outer shell that allows them to survive outside of the body for long periods of time, sometimes weeks or months, and makes them tolerant to chlorine disinfection.
People can become infected by:
- Swallowing Giardia picked up from surfaces such as bathroom handles, changing tables, diaper pails, toys and properties contaminated with sewage that contain feces from an infected person or animal
- Drinking water or using ice made from water sources where Giardia may live
- Swallowing water while swimming or playing in water where Giardia is present, especially in lakes, rivers, springs, ponds, and streams
- Eating uncooked food that contains Giardia
- Having contact with someone who is ill with the parasite
Symptoms of illness normally begin 1 to 3 weeks after becoming infected. In otherwise healthy people, symptoms of the illness may last 2 to 6 weeks. Occasionally, symptoms last longer.
“Although the Giardia parasite can infect all people, infants and pregnant women should be especially careful when it comes to these infections because they are more likely to experience dehydration,” reported Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology & Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Severe dehydration can be life threatening. EMSL offers testing services for Giardia and has recently sponsored an educational video to help educate the public about this health risk.”
To view the video please visit: http://youtu.be/jlvXtvWm80A
To learn more about Giardia or other aquatic microbiology and environmental testing services, please visit www.AquaticMicrobiologyLab.com or www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of aquatic, environmental, indoor air quality and material testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.