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  Giardia and Crypto
  Posted by: rikjohnson on Dec-28-12 12:53 PM (EST)
   Category: Other Gear 

I was filtering water on a recent trip and thought...
Why do I think that Giardia and Crypto are universally spread throughout the lake?
Fish aren't! Muck isn't! Even engine oil and gas is missing in some places and thick in others!

So why not the same for these bugs?
Surely there should be areas where G&C are thicker and areas where they are missing?

Anyone have an idea of how to find this info?

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Messages in this Topic

 

  few things
  Posted by: radiomix on Dec-28-12 3:42 PM (EST)
I'm no scientist, but I would assume that germ contaminates are most likely found where mammals use the water. In a lake with a dam and multiple streams feeding it, it seems possible you could find them anywhere.

Ryan L.
 
 
  Giardia cysts fare worse
  Posted by: kayamedic on Dec-28-12 5:47 PM (EST)
in cold water. Mixing the water as in an expanse of open water would dilute the critters.

Stagnant warm water is a primo happy site for the beasties.

Most non filterers dip from the middle of the lake where Nature gives a bit of her own SteriPen treatment.

A boggy quiet area..well animals do poop there too. Humans sometimes too and they are the prime vector for giardia.

Didn't look up crypto.
 
 
  Varying degrees?
  Posted by: michaelcrouse on Dec-29-12 2:10 PM (EST)
Are their different levels of giardia you can get?
I ask because after a friend ran a horrible 1/2 marathon and thought it was the flu but the correct diagnosis was giardia. Apparently some water was swallowed during a tri that was in a less than pristine lake.
 
 
  Why risk it?
  Posted by: TomM on Dec-28-12 7:59 PM (EST)
Have you ever been sick due to drinking un-filtered water? It ain't fun.
 
 
  I know a guy who got a Giardia infection
  Posted by: string on Dec-28-12 8:06 PM (EST)
on the AT.He was at trail weight(as in no fat left) and lost 10 more lbs. and 10 days. Said the cure was almost as bad as the infection.
Why chance it?
 
 
  Filter, filter, filter and then boil
  Posted by: willi_h2o on Dec-28-12 8:51 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Dec-28-12 8:54 PM EST --

I have been sick from a drop of bad water getting
in my mouth when rafting the Gauley River.

EXTREME nauseousness, pain, cramping and it doesn't
go away, hour after hour of it, relentless.
Go to hospital, they'll give you "nothing at all"
in the beginning because they want to check you out.
Pain, cramps, nauseousness, continue to relent.
Now it's about 24 hours and you're in agony.

After hospital figures it all out you get 2 choices.
Two choices, 3 times a day for about 7 days in hospital.
Beef broth or Chicken broth - that's it.
You'll loose a ton of weight and feel awful the whole time.

Get a very good filter - protect it with your life.
Use an extra screen like a coffee filter on intake.
Boil that water you pumped and protect your body.

Yeah, it's that bad ! No jokes, no kidding.

 
 
  Incubation 1-45 days
  Posted by: kayamedic on Dec-28-12 9:22 PM (EST)
Its not fatal. But the dehydration from losing fluid from multiple orifices can be.

Researching is kind of fun and explains why I can drink from my lake with no treatment. The water pipe runs into the lake from my house.

Never had anything other than lake water or well water.

Falls again under the category of anecdotal information as do all the other posts.

Wash your hands on trips as you would at home.Do you? Giardia's primary transmission vector is you.
 
 
  They aren't evenly dispersed
  Posted by: paddlemore on Dec-28-12 8:55 PM (EST)
Unfortunately, you can not accurately tell how they are dispersed unless you test water from different areas. By the time you do this a population of them could have drifted into an area you just tested.
 
 
  Present here on the Upper Delaware
  Posted by: suntan on Dec-29-12 10:42 AM (EST)
In my case, I got flew-like symptoms and intestinal discomfort all summer. I guess I got away easy.
 
 
  Giardia....
  Posted by: FatElmo on Dec-29-12 12:33 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Dec-29-12 12:56 PM EST --

Ain't dat some guy wit a billy club watchin' over de crooks in some I-ta-leen-ian jail? An' shazam, in me yoot ah's always listened ta Tales Fro' De Crypto on de crystal wireless. Didn't reckon yer cood git de gizzard uproars wit dat!

FE

 
 
  Worth the pennies
  Posted by: willi_h2o on Dec-29-12 3:53 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Dec-29-12 3:55 PM EST --

When I'm solo in the backcountry far from society;
I go with Katadyn and boil the water afterwards.
Simply not worth the risk to me.....
I also hate the taste of "purifier" chemical additives.

http://www.rei.com/product/830746/katadyn-hiker-water-filter

 
 
  Easy cure
  Posted by: pgeorg on Dec-29-12 4:40 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Dec-31-12 12:43 PM EST --

I had Giardia a few years back. Probably got it from my grandchildren who picked it up in their nursery school. I went around with it for about a month while gulping a lot of Imodium which did not put a dent in it. I was finally referred to a GI specialist who recognized it and diagnosed it with a lab test. The cure was actually easy and effective, three horse pills and it was all gone. I don't recall the name of the medication but do recall that it had come from Europe and was just recently approved in the U.S.

I don't recommend it for weight loss, but it is effective. I lost 20 lbs during the ordeal.

Peter

 
 
  I've had dysentary
  Posted by: rikjohnson on Dec-31-12 11:34 AM (EST)
a few times with the Air Force but never Giardia or Crypto.
My current preferred method is to filter with my Katadyn Hiker then UV it with my Steri-Pen.
I've used chlor-floc overseas with no problems.

BUT,
my thought was that G&C are probably NOT evenly dispersed so there must be some areas where the concentration is less than in other areas.

THUS, trying to filter an area where the concentration is very thick would be more dangerous than trying to filter water where the concentration is much less.

Last trip the river water was so bad I had planned to wait until I reached the lake and then toss my filter intake over the side and filter clearer surface water.
 
 
  If you're bringing the filter...
  Posted by: pikabike on Dec-29-12 7:36 PM (EST)
...then it'd be foolish to not use it, no matter where in the lake or river you are. Water moves around.

Giardia is known to be in all 50 of the United States. I suspect I had it one time, and the illness took a full month to leave me feeling halfway normal. If you don't want to filter, you should boil the water. You will need to boil it for a certain amount of time (I forget what it is), not just bring it to a boil.

Beware one thing about crypto: Iodine does NOT kill cryptosporidia organisms. In 1999 my husband and I were car-camping and mountain biking in southwestern CO. The first and second nights, we camped at a campground with well water. The water gushed out silty and ruddy-colored, with the strong and distinctive taste and odor of iodine. The area had received abnormally high rainfall the weeks before we arrived. We drank that well-water, unfiltered. After a day or two, we both felt nauseous. Did not make the connection at the time. There's a photo of me taken on the trail looking pale and slightly green. The sick feeling did not go away for at least a week afterward. I later read that iodine is ineffective at killing cryptosporidia. The well-water must've been contaminated.

It's not worth skipping the effort to filter your water.
 
 
  Seems to me no one has an answer
  Posted by: kayamedic on Dec-29-12 8:14 PM (EST)
to the original question, which was not about the need to filter water but rather is there a pattern of distribution of cryptospiridium and giardia.

I maintain there is from what amateur research I have been able to do. Whether or not I have had it is of less interest. (and I have from Mexico in unsanitary conditions, not on a trip)
 
 
  Patterns in nature
  Posted by: willi_h2o on Dec-30-12 1:13 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Dec-30-12 1:15 AM EST --

Where ever the wind blows the water, the animals
stir it and the water fowl mix it around, it will
be there when you want to drink.

C'mon now we are talking microns - Microscope City.
Protozoa include Entamoeba, Giardia, Trichomonas,
Cryptosporidium, Isospora, Pneumocystis and Balantidium.
There are two diagnostic life-cycle stages commonly
seen in parasites - the cyst and the adult trophozoite stage.

 
 
  I have personal
  Posted by: rpg51 on Dec-30-12 8:20 AM (EST)
opinions but zero scientific research to back them up and I would never suggest anyone else should alter their conduct based on my opinions. It would be good if there were some studies done. But, in the meantime, I am keeping my opinions to myself. Suffice it to say, I have been at this for 40 years, my experience is all in the northern united states and northern canada. I have never filtered, boiled or otherwise treated water. I have never been sick as a result of water consumed on a trip. I have been sick from other causes.
 
 
  where you get water
  Posted by: radiomix on Dec-30-12 10:19 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Dec-30-12 10:21 AM EST --

Has much to do with its cleanliness. High stream with little chance of mammals, and a spring at the source, probably ok. Low land lake with human waste present, higher chance. Filtering and boiling seems a little unnecessary for most water sources, unless you are worried about viruses, but running through a filter isn't a huge hassle. A uv treatment couldnt hurt either. As with most food and water diseases, cross contamination is your real worry.

Ryan L.

 
 
  What about the animals?
  Posted by: magooch on Dec-30-12 10:29 AM (EST)
How is it that animals can drink from just about anything and not be bothered? Do they develop an immunity, or a tolerance?
 
 
  Animals
  Posted by: drjay9051 on Dec-30-12 7:09 PM (EST)
What about the animals?
Posted by: magooch on Dec-30-12 10:29 AM (EST)
How is it that animals can drink from just about anything and not be bothered? Do they develop an immunity, or a tolerance?

Magooch:

Actually animals do catch alot of what we catch. In some cases the animal may NOT get ill due to a variety of factors such as evolutionary adaptation and a shorter digestive tract which means the "bug" does not have adequate time to reproduce to numbers needed to cause symptoms. In other words it passes through quicker.

Off topic: the CD Isle is well as is my Epic surf ski. Have you tried a ski yet?

I am getting a second ski for big conditions. Even so i am sure I'll never have near as many craft as you.

Happy New Year.

Jay

 
 
  I seem to recall
  Posted by: rikjohnson on Dec-31-12 11:43 AM (EST)
a study that showed (I may be misrembering this) that in the winter streams tested clean were contaminated by animals a month or so later who got it from people pooping along the trails.

Yes, some animals get sick.
Ever been in a cattle-field or sheep-field when the 'runs' hit them? Ireland around Tara Hill was mostly brown goo from a bug that went through the local sheep herd. And that got on our shoes which got on our hands when we changed shoes and the car floormats and... There was a lot of second and third-hand infection.
And a lot of the cowpies on Pleasant showed exactly the same thing.

People in the Third World get sick a lot too, they just shove rags up there and keep on working because they don't have sick-time like we do.

So my original question remains.
Because I've seen second & third hand infection so if I can filter water from areas that have a lower concentration, it reduces the chance of not only direct infection (swimming too) but accidental second hand infection.
 
 
  Russian Roulette
  Posted by: pikabike on Dec-31-12 1:32 PM (EST)
People have intercourse without using birth control, too.

Is it worth saving a few minutes of filtering time to be sick for days or weeks? To me, it's not. Especially if I'm in the backcountry, where my own sick exudations would foul land and water for other people and animals later...
 
 
  Here are some answers to the OP
  Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Dec-30-12 12:51 PM (EST)
http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=distribution+of+microorganism+in+aquatic+environment&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart&sa=X&ei=tX7gUK_OE8jj0gHN4YD4BQ&ved=0CDMQgQMwAA
 

Google
 
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