An upcoming NBC TV competition series, adapted from the classic backyard waterslide by Wham-O, has shut down indefinitely after up to 40 crew members fell violently ill during production on a remote ranch in Simi Valley, California. According to TheWrap.com, the show called, “The Ultimate Slip N’ Slide” was plagued with an outbreak of giardia causing “awful explosive diarrhea” and left people “collapsing” on set and “being forced to run into port-o-potties.”
Talk about disgusting.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, giardia is a microscopic parasite “found on surfaces or in soil, food, or water that has been contaminated with feces from infected people or animals,” which, when swallowed, causes a diarrheal disease. It is believed that the crew members probably came in contact with feces-infested water by accidentally ingesting it.
Giardia infection (giardiasis) is one of the most common causes of waterborne disease in the United States. The parasites are found in backcountry streams and lakes but also in public water supplies, swimming pools, whirlpool spas and wells. Giardia infection can be spread through food and person-to-person contact.
Giardia infections usually clear up within a few weeks. But you may have intestinal problems long after the parasites are gone.
NBC confirmed the shutdown was halted on June 2 when at least one crew member on the series tested positive for giardia. The show had nearly completed filming, with one week left in its scheduled production, and will not be returning to the original shooting location.
Some people with giardia infection never develop signs or symptoms, but they still carry the parasite and can spread it to others through their stool. According to the Mayo Clinic, those who do get sick, signs and symptoms usually appear one to three weeks after exposure and may include:
- Watery, sometimes foul-smelling diarrhea that may alternate with soft, greasy stools
- Stomach cramps and bloating
- Weight loss
- Signs and symptoms of giardia infection may last two to six weeks, but in some people they last longer or recur.
When to see a doctor
Call your doctor if you have loose stools, stomach cramping and bloating, and nausea lasting more than a week, or if you become dehydrated. Be sure to tell your doctor if