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Is giardia contagious?

Page last updated 28 February 2019

Yes, giardia is highly contagious and spreads easily from an infected person (who shed billions of parasites in their faeces). Even those who normally follow proper hygiene or food preparation procedures might accidently contaminate their hands and other surfaces as they battle the diarrhoea giardia causes and unsuspecting fellow travellers might inadvertently infect themselves. But it’s not just people who are the problem. It can also be contracted by drinking untreated water sources where infected animals may have contaminated them, so avoid drinking from untreated water sources such as lakes and streams.

If you have giardia, one important thing you can do is avoid the temptation to use the swimming pool and spa. People who are infected should avoid entering swimming pools or spas for at least one week after their symptoms have stopped.

Sources & Citations

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sources of infection and risk factors. Giardia Available at: (accessed 25 October 2018).
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Giardia. Illness and symptoms. Available at: (accessed 25 October 2018).
3. Victoria State Government. Better Health Channel. Gastroenteritis - giardiasis. Available at: (accessed 25 October 2018).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.11.0396 - Date of preparation November 2018