In the usual epidemic of giardiasis, about two-thirds of the exposed individuals develop symptoms. The incubation period is generally 6 to 20 days. Symptoms can range from mild (indigestion, "gas," and nausea) to severe (vomiting, explosive diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fatigue, and weight loss). The symptoms usually disappear without treatment in 1 to 4 weeks, but some cases become chronic. Both symptomatic and asymptomatic persons can become long-term carriers, unknowingly excreting infectious cysts with their feces.
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