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Ascel Bio reiterates its forecast that Giardiasis cases will begin to spike in the U.S. in the month ahead. Giardiasis, caused by the Giardia lamblia parasite, is widespread across the U.S., but disproportionately affects the northern half of the continental states. And, as much as we love cute pictures of beavers, fresh waves of recent studies are showing that folklore associations with the wilderness may no longer be wholly beneficial.

Ascel Bio forecasts that Giardiasis cases will rise in the weeks ahead. While the national case counts are within forecast range (i.e. the number of cases we expect to occur in a typical year), there is an atypical number of cases in both Colorado and New York. Both of these states are common beaver locales – a usual harbinger of the Giardia parasite – but the infection can come from sources much closer to home.

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A 2003 study of Giardiasis incidence in New York State showed that infection risk was highest along the forest edges, rather than deep in the woods, where farmland and semi-rural communities pushed up against the forest edge. The water sources in these areas, including infected lakes and untreated drinking water, may lead to infection in humans.  In addition to infected water, our food and our pets can carry the parasite as well.