1 Nov 2019

Warning after Legionnaires' disease death in Dunedin

3:51 pm on 1 November 2019

Spring gardeners are being warned to take care while handling potting mix and compost following the death of a Dunedin man.

Sign outside the emergency room of a hospital

Photo: 123RF

The man developed flu-like symptoms and was admitted to hospital where he died within a week of symptoms appearing.

It's understood the man was infected by legionella bacteria while adding compost to a glasshouse.

Southern District Health Board said Legionnaires' disease was a type of pneumonia caused by the bacteria.

The DHB said early symptoms could appear two days after exposure and similar to the flu.

The disease can cause a cough, high fever, muscle pains and headaches.

Anyone handling potting mix, soils or compost, should wear gloves, a good quality mask that covers the nose and mouth, and work in a well ventilated space.

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