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Giardia treatment?

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Re: Giardia treatment?

Postby rlown » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:28 pm

markskor wrote:Lastly, I recall the words of one of my UCLA Parasite professors: "There has not been one case of giardia that has been totally 100% attributed to someone merely drinking high altitude Sierra water...(poor hygiene is always suspect instead".) Being as it takes 10 - 14 days after consuming high enough concentrations of giardia to show symptoms, how do you really know where you got it?

Wash your hands!

Mark (MS Parasitology UCLA, 1975)

I'm amused, and to quote:

BEDEMIR: And that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped.
ARTHUR: This new learning amazes me, Sir Bedemir. Explain again how
sheeps' bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes.
BEDEMIR: Oh, certainly, sir.

Couldn't resist.. :D

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Re: Giardia treatment?

Postby quentinc » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:43 pm

freestone wrote:
As for the PCHers, the contamination of giardia could have happen 2 weeks prior to entering the high country, somewhere south of Palmdale, although I have heard that the tap water at Kennedy is suspect.

I'm assuming the symptoms show up at least 10 - 14 days after entering section F, so that may not be until they are a few days past Kennedy. The tap water in F is suspect too, so the state park service has disabled all the water taps that used to be there north of the 14. I pity the people who go through there in June (one reason I'll never be a thru-hiker).
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Re: Giardia treatment?

Postby Old_Hiker » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:01 am

I used the SteriPen adventurer on my 3 day trip from Cottonwood Pass to Soldier Lake and it worked fine. I did a lot of research and came across of a couple of complaints .

[note: I'm decided to be nice and not make any disparaging remarks here]

One complaint about the SteriPen was the button was hard to push. I had no problems.

A lot of people were worried about the water that accrued on the threads of the bottle as you dipped the bottle in the water. What?? Were not talking about nerve gas. I doubt the small amount there would be a problem especially when all you had to do was wipe it off with a handkerchief. After thinking about that I realised that [for 20 years] I've been transfering water from my water bag to the cooking pot using a cup, which I never wiped clean! Lucky to be alive!
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Re: Giardia treatment?

Postby murphtron » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:05 pm

This is a sensitive topic, and I'm not entirely certain why. I guess because it's so personal and involves hygiene. And also because there's a large industry around water purification products and it's taken as gospel that water purification is required.

I think markskor provides the most rational response. In fact, this maps to what's preached in wilderness medicine conferences (my wife recently attended one in Squaw). Bottom line: people get all kinds of GI issues from many different sources. It's difficult, if not impossible, to attribute it so easily to giaradia introduced by water.

My rule of thumb: evaluate the water source. Is it a popular lake? Is it a creek with a popular lake or grazing/horsepacking upstream? Is it late season? Then I generally treat the water.

Is it a creek with little used trails upstream? Is it early season (or there's still lots of runoff)? Then I don't bother to treat the water. Why am I so liberal? Mainly because I have a strong stomach and rarely get ill. Other people are far more sensitive to stomach bugs, and are more cautious, as they should be.

Of course, my behavior is also influenced by my hiking partners. Some insist on always treating water. In that case, I go with what the party prefers. Not a big deal.

We always use iodine+vitamin C since all of our filters are clogged. :)
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Re: Giardia treatment?

Postby Scouter9 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:20 am

Although it may not be giardia, I think that most GI sickness on trail does come from hygiene issues, and usually those of OTHERS. However, I also know that other bugs can be in water and, frankly, the filters and pumps just don't weight that much. We use 'em.
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