Government officials have warned that gardeners are at a higher risk of catching Legionnaires’ disease because Legionella bacteria, which live in moist organic material, thrive in bags of potting mix and compost. One official says that cases typically spike in early November, but that in she sees cases notified from September onward due to an increase in gardening activity. Three weeks ago, a 59-year-old keen gardener was using potting mix to plant some seedlings in his greenhouse. He began to feel unwell but thought it was just the flu. But the fevers quickly turned to coughing up blood. He was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease at the hospital where he spent three days in the emergency ward. “I contracted Legionnaires’ disease through the potting mix,” he said, and urges gardeners to wear masks and gloves.
Like with COVID-19 all ages can be affected by Legionnaires’ disease, but it mainly affects people over 50 and people with a compromised immune system. Susceptible people catch the disease by breathing in airborne particles from a water source that contains Legionella bacteria, or after inhaling dust from soil. Once in the lungs the bacteria multiply and can form a deadly form of pneumonia. So, heed this advice and do not just wear masks in public: wear them while gardening.
THE MATERIALS ON THIS WEBSITE HAVE BEEN PREPARED BY JULES ZACHER, P.C. FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE OR A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL COUNSEL.