Doctor advises gardeners on avoiding Legionnaires disease

Gardeners take precautions Legionnaires disease
Photo: Getty.

With 10 cases of Legionnaires disease in Christchurch over the past week, gardeners are being warned to take precautions. Compost and potting mix are the primary contributors to contracting the disease.

Medical Officer of Health Alistair Humphrey joins Lisa Owen on The Long Lunch to explain how they are investigating the outbreak through afflicted patients.

Dr Humphrey explains that Canterbury has many keen gardeners, hence the high rate of the potentially-fatal disease.

"Cut the bag open," he advises gardeners when handling potting mix. "Don’t rip the bag open."

Masks and gloves are also recommended when dealing with compost and potting mix, he explains.

Canterbury has the country's highest rates of Legionnaires while New Zealand has the highest reported cases of the disease in the world.

Listen to the full interview with Dr Alistair Humphrey above.

Lisa Owen filling in on Afternoon Talk for Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.