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Backyard Survival...

How To Properly Purify Water
by John E Phillips with Erica Miller

"I'd prefer to die," I thought as I walked away from next to the high mountain stream where I'd camped for three days. With my stomach in the middle of a intense, internal war, I began to doubt my chances for winning and surviving.

The term, throwing-up down to your shoelaces could let you know in a small way the misery I experienced. I returned home from my trip sick, dehydrated and looking for a comfortable bed and medical relief.My doctor diagnosed that a waterborne bacteria called Giardia lamblia had infected me.

During the past 15 years, Giardia lamblia, the microscopic parasite that causes the illness giardiasis, has become recognized as one of the most common causes of waterborne diseases in the Unites States. Giardiasis, commonly called Beaver Fever, strikes outdoorsmen more often than any other waterborne disease. Data reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta indicate that Giardia lamblia causes the most frequent diarrheal outbreaks associated with drinking water in the U.S.

You'll find Giardia lamblia in every region of the country. The most common symptoms of giardiasis include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and nausea, which usually appear 1 to 2 weeks after infection. However, not everyone infected with the parasite has symptoms.

Although Beaver Fever certainly can take the fun out of your outdoor adventure, other parasites, bacteria and chemicals lurk in the water too, just waiting to attack. In true wilderness, disease-causing viruses seldom live in water, but their numbers increase as population and poor sanitation practices rise.

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