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[pct-l] Giardia facts, speculation, and "hoo-ey"
- Subject: [pct-l] Giardia facts, speculation, and "hoo-ey"
- From: BLISTERFREE%40delphi%2Ecom
- Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 22:26:08 -0500 (EST)
Okay, we've now heard from an MD on the matter. And some of us are ven
more confused than before...
If humans CANNOT develop a tolerance to giardia, that is to say, create our
own antibodies to the giardia protozoa, as indicated by the MD, then what
was going on in the human gut before our regular drinking water became so
sterile? Surely humans have been exposed to giardia, the critter being no
doubt far older than we newbies, for millenia. Were we, as the MD infers
third world countries are today, continually suffering through recurring
bouts of abdominal pain, flatulence, and loose, mucous-filled stools? And
if so, what's our problem?? Why are other carriers of the disease, such as
beaver and marmot, not becoming ill, but merely passing it along to us humans,
who, I would infer, generally ARE getting ill?
Didn't we once have tolerance? And why can't we still develop it?
As for the question posed by another about why giardia seems to have become
a greater problem in recent years (compared to a 1970's thru-hike), I
referred to the Jardine book, and gathered that this is largely because there
IS more giardia in the backcountry now as compared to then. And this may be
due to their being more humans, stock, and cattle in the backcountry these
days, all of which have the potential to contract, and by nature of the beast,
spread in greater numbers, the giardia guys. So, "blame ourselves" would be
the short answer. Maybe the MD could explain better...
And while we're on it, maybe the doctor could determine whether or not horses
and cattle actually contribute to the giardia problem.
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