Legionnaires' disease

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Gardening is a popular pastime enjoyed by thousands of New Zealanders, helping people relax and escape the stresses of life. It provides enjoyment and exercise.

The huge growth of interest in home-grown vegetables and fruit in recent years has added to people's culinary enjoyment, and helped stretch their budgets further.

Soil is rich with living organisms beneficial to plants which generally cause no harm to animals or people. Soil does, however, also contain some organisms that are not beneficial.

A type of Legionella bacteria, which is commonly found in the environment, is one of these. It has been shown to cause Legionnaires' disease in a few people.

This guide provides some simple and natural steps that all gardeners can take to reduce risk while continuing to enjoy their garden.

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