been there, done that
not a lot of fun to be on that merry-go-round. The good news is once they knock it out (getting it to a dormant state) your friend is not very susceptible to ever experiencing the active stage again.

Filtering and chemically treating drinking water are pretty much standard practice. Not much you can do about ingesting river water unintentionally. Met one other person who got it after ingesting river water. Try to keep your mouth closed while paddling!

Giardia isn’t consider a “serious disease” unfortunately it feels that way when you have it.

yes they did
They just arent here to tell you.

Giardia Is Everywhere
I got it from a Forest Service guard station. They provided us with unfiltered water. Only two out of eight people got it. That’s because it’s hit and miss with giardia. Just because a stream is contaminated. That doesn’t mean all the water is contaminated all the time.

My rule is filter unless I’m standing next to a high mountain snow bank.

Guess what! My friends culture came back and it was NOT Giardi that she has. Now the Dr. is trying to determine what it is. It was her first time in Moab, and she loved it. So I am relieved that it was not the Colorado River that made her sick.

LOTS of possible culprits
Campylobacter, e coli, cryotosporidium (this is very common in the region), salmonella, shigella?, a virus, food poisoning, the list goes on…

the testing
of stool samples is hit or miss- sometimes cysts appear and sometimes they don’t, depends upon where you are in the cycle- did you friend turn in one of explosive runny samples or were they in a better period? Sorry to be gross but that’s how it worked for me. It’s an ugly bug because you think you’re getting better then you get sick again.

I Play In Colorado River Water
More than one a week. Our lake is filled with the stuff. We are now worried about an algae that seems to affect a few people. There’s seems to always be something to worry about.

Me a bee landed on my yak just before I got in. It stung my calf. That’s better than the scorpion that crawled on board and stung my. Luckily I don’t react much to stings.

I don’t seem to react to algae either. Hopefully someday I have something more to worry about than just rattlesnakes.