Giardia intestinalis is a simple organism, but it is infectious when even a few protozoa are ingested. In the last 40 years, there have been several large community outbreaks of diarrhea in travelers returning from endemic regions. In the United States, Giardia is frequently identified as the most common cause of waterborne diarrhea. This protozoan has been found in about 80% of raw water supplies from streams, lakes, ponds, rivers and mountain water. Giardia is usually acquired through ingestion of either contaminated water or food or via person-to-person contact (fecal matter). Although giardiasis is a mild infectious disorder, a few patients may present with abrupt explosive watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, foul-smelling stools, fever, vomiting and general malaise. People at the highest risk of acquiring this organism include travelers, campers, children, homosexual men and people with immunodeficiency syndromes.
The goal of this continuing education program is to provide laboratory professionals with information about Giardia and the epidemiology, presentation and management of the infection. After studying the material presented here, you will be able to:
- Describe Giardia, its epidemiology and clinical presentation
- Review the different approaches to identifying the organism in the laboratory
- Discuss treatment, prognosis and prevention
Level of Instruction: Basic
OnCourse Learning is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) Professional Acknowledgment for Continuing Education (P.A.C.E.®) Program (provider #249).
249-037-13 "Giardia: A Common Cause of Diarrhea" is approved 02-25-2013 to 02-25-2015.
OnCourse Learning is also approved by the Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel (provider #FBN 50-1489).
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Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. OnCourse Learning guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.
Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.
This course completion will be electronically reported to CE Broker as required per Florida Statute 456.025(7). Click here to view your CE Broker transcript and check the status of your CE requirements with a FREE 7-day CE Broker trial subscription. It may take up to 24 hours for the course to appear on your CE Broker transcript.