Giardia and Cryptosporidium are single celled organisms that are protozoan parasites. They are found in the gut of humans and animals, such as cattle, sheep, dogs and cats. In the case of Crytosporidium it can also be found in the gut of fish and reptiles. Both of these parasites are widespread in New Zealand and can live in the environment for long periods, especially in lakes, rivers, streams, and roof water.
These parasites can cause diarrhoea, which can be quite severe, and is often accompanied by stomach cramps and abdominal pain. Illness related to Giardia or Cryptosporidium infection is of public health significance. A person becomes infected when they ingest the parasites; this may be from contaminated water or food, or from contact with infected animals or humans.
Tauranga City Council has chosen to use microfiltration technology, as this is a known and effective method of removing these parasites from the water before it is released for consumption.
For further information relating to the symptoms, treatment, and avoidance of these parasites discuss with your health advisor.
Last Reviewed: 01/08/2016