Causes of Giardia infection (giardiasis)

Learn about the causes of Giardia infection, how it’s spread and where it’s found.  

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Cause of Giardia infection

Giardia infection is caused by microscopic parasites, called Giardia, that are found in water. These parasites cause an intestinal illness called giardiasis, which is sometimes called ‘beaver fever.’

How Giardia infection is spread

Giardia can be spread by:  

People and animals become sick if they swallow the parasite. The parasite is then passed in the feces of the infected human or animal. 

How food and water become contaminated

Food can become contaminated with Giardia if it comes into contact with:

Water sources can become contaminated with Giardia if:

Where Giardia infection is found

Giardia parasites are commonly found in or on:

The parasite can withstand harsh environmental conditions and can survive for weeks or months.

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