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Ask Buck

Is Giardia More Prevalent Than Ever?

Are giardia issues now greater than they were, say, in the 60s? In the 60's I often drank out of remote streams, with no ill effects.

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Question:

Are giardia issues now greater than they were,
say, in the 60s? In the 60’s I often drank out of remote streams, with no
ill effects.

Submitted by – Doug, Pelkie, MI

Answer:

Giardia has been recognized for centuries. It was seen in human stool in some of the earliest experiments with a new fangled device called the microscope. But, yes, since the 1960s it has mushroomed in water sources. The cause remains somewhat mysterious, but it might be related to increased use of water sources, and the fact that humans have been less than careful about contaminating water sources. Whatever the cause, you are well advised to treat all wilderness water these days. And not just because of Giardia. Some waterborne pathogens cause more serious illnesses. –Buck