Who would have thought it? A cuddly toy in the shape of a virus! These cuddly characters are incredibly endearing and educational too. Each one comes with a detailed scientific description and photograph of what he looks like under the microscope, along with medical tips on how to avoid picking up these bugs in daily life. Children seem to be totally fascinated by them, and it really helps when explaining all about why they are feeling poorly. The perfect gift to accompany a Get Well card. Also a brilliant present for medical students, doctors and nurses etc. You will soon understand why they are becoming amazingly popular! Start collecting now.
Facts: Giardia lamblia is a protozoan parasite often acquired during recreational swimming in the lakes and rivers of the great outdoors. Hikers and campers are common carriers and giardiasis (or giardia infection) is sometimes referred to as "hikers diarrhea". Giardia is also found in artificial swimming pools and hot tubs, not to mention contaminated drinking water and food. In fact, some estimates suggest that giardia infects up to 20% of the worlds population!
A hard outer shell allows giardia to survive in the wide world, but it is most at home in the grear indoors of the human and animal intestine. Nevertheless, as victims of circumstance, giardia parasites can find themselves expelled from the intestinal paradise by the usual route. Water runoff then carries them to nearby lakes and streams.
(Children's nappies are a common pathway from intestines to swimming pools and hot tubs - as well as to countertops in daycare centres, for example, where outbreaks occassionally occur)
Symptoms typically last for about a month and include severe stomach cramps and diarrhea, though in some instances (often where it is endemic) giardiasis produces no symptoms at all.
The best way to avoid giardia is to avoid swimming in or ingesting contaminated water, to wash hands thoroughly before eating or after handling nappies or other waste, and to boil, filter, or chemically treat drinking water where it's quality is unknown. So take precautions - or you may end up listening to the call of nature.