News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Cantabrians urged to protect themselves against Legionnaires


MEDIA RELEASE
25 October 2019
For immediate release

Cantabrians urged to protect themselves against Legionnaires’ this spring

At this time of year as the sun starts to make more of an appearance week-by-week, a nasty disease also starts to make its present felt – Legionnaires’.

As the days get longer and warmer, people are more inclined to head outside and get stuck into their gardens, and with this comes the increased risk of catching Legionnaires’. Last year there were 48 hospitalisations from Legionnaires’ in Canterbury, and with 12 cases of the disease already confirmed in the region since June this year, gardeners are being urged to take care with potting mix and compost.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Alistair Humphrey says Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia.

“It’s caused by the Legionella bacteria that live in moist organic material and people can catch the disease by inhaling airborne droplets or particles containing the bacteria.

“Gardeners are at particularly high risk of catching Legionnaires' disease as the bacteria thrive in bags of potting mix and compost,” says Dr Humphrey.

In Canterbury there is typically a spike in cases in early November that can be attributed to the increased gardening activity over Labour weekend, and with a promising forecast this Labour weekend now is the time for people to take the necessary steps to avoid catching the disease.

Dr Humphrey says there are five simple actions gardeners should take to avoid getting legionnaires’:
1. Open potting mix or compost carefully – use scissors instead of ripping the bag.
2. Wear a well-fitting disposable face mask and gloves, and remember not to touch your mask when gardening.
3. Reduce dust by dampening down potting mix or compost with a sprinkle of water.
4. Work with potting mix or compost in a well-ventilated outdoor area.
5. Thoroughly wash your hands after handling potting mix or compost.

“Legionnaires’ is a very serious illness and following these simple steps can be lifesaving,” says Dr Humphrey.

The illness may be mild but can sometimes be fatal. It is more common in older people, particularly if they smoke, have poor immunity or a chronic illness. However, sometimes even healthy young people have died from legionella pneumonia.

Symptoms can include dry coughing, high fever, chills, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headaches and diarrhoea. If you have these symptoms, you should contact your general practice team right away for advice, and let them know you if have been handling potting mix or compost.

For more information on Legionnaires’, visit: https://www.healthinfo.org.nz/index.htm?Legionnaires-disease-legionellosis.html.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>


Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>


Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>


Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland