53-year-old New Zealand resident, Susan Dromgool, slipped into a two-week coma after contracting Legionnaires’ disease in December 2016. She had been using potting soil to plant succulents and believed she had taken the appropriate safety measures since she wore gloves and used the potting mix in a well-ventilated area. However, the evening after planting the succulents, she began to experience chills and her symptoms progressively got worse. She was admitted to the hospital and put in an induced coma. She woke up approximately two weeks later with no memory of the events surrounding her illness.
Ms. Dromgool gradually recovered and is now warning about the use of potting soil: “People need to know that it’s not enough to just wear the gloves and no mask – there are warnings on all of the packets of potting mix, but perhaps the mask should come with the mix.”
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