Foodborne Infections Essay

Submitted By Jenn-Hogue
Words: 568
Pages: 3

Giardia or amoeba parasites

What is the infectious agent (pathogen) that causes this infectious disease? For example, the name of the bacteria, virus, or parasite.
Giardia intestinalis is the parasite that causes Giardia, It is an intestinal parasite that causes diarrhea. It is a parasite that lives and feeds off one another in order to survive. It is also called Giardia lamblia or Giardia duodenalis. Giardia is the most common parasitic infection in the United States according to the Center for Disease Control website. How is this infectious agent transmitted through food or water? This parasite is transmitted by swallowing giardia cysts that are found in contaminated food and/or water. It is transferred through hard shelled cysts. The cysts are instantly infectious the moment they leave the host through feces . An infected person can shed as little as one billion and as much as ten billion cysts daily in their fecal matter. There have also been know cases where it has been passed through acts or sexual contact.

What is an example of a real life outbreak of this foodborne illness in the United States? According to the various web searches I tried to do regarding this infectious illness, it was not easy to find recent outbreaks. I was able to find one dating back in 2007, in Berlin,New Hampshire. There were aprox 217 cases reported, and out of those 217 cases, 13% of them showed systematic symptoms that required hospitalization. It was proven that the cause of the outbreak came from contaminated water, once the investigation had been completed. During the outbreak it had shown there were actually two outbreaks caused by two separate water supplies.

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What are the clinical symptoms, duration of the disease, and treatment if any?
Some people become infected and show no symptoms of having this infection but still carry the cysts in their stools. Some of the clinical symptoms include: watery stools aternating with greasy stools, fatigue, abdominal cramping, weight loss, nausea and belching that leaves a bad or foul taste in your mouth. Symptoms usually last 2-4 weeks, but, in some instances, can last longer. No treatment is necessary unless the carrier or one infected is concerned with spreading the infection. In those cases there are…