Who Is At Risk Of Fungal Infections While Gardening?

Gardening is a healthy and fulfilling hobby for many Australians. But like many activities in our day-to-day lives, there is some risk involved, particularly when it comes to using potting mix and compost which can contain legionella bacteria which cause legionnaire’s disease, a potentially deadly form of pneumonia. These products are also breeding grounds for fungi. Fungal spores are all around us. We inhale them every day and our immune system in our lungs just eliminates them. But if you have a compromised immune system, (the spores) can lead to a problem. People with diabetes have a slightly increased risk of infection because these fungi prefer hosts with high blood sugar. In most cases, infections are caused by breathing in fungal spores. However, you can also become infected through a gardening injury. What are your thoughts LiveTribers? Who is at risk of fungal infections while gardening?

Posted by on 04 Jun 2024

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    If your immune system is compromised then wear a mask if handling potting mix and wear gloves when pruning or digging in the garden. Be careful of twigs that might scratch and open your skin especially as you age. If one uses common sense [yes, I know it is in short supply these days!] then the risks are minimal compared to the joy one gets from harvesting your own crops and enjoying the hobby of gardening.

    Posted by CILLY0 on 11 Jun 2024

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    As I said previously just use common sense if you are I'll or don't garden. What's AIDS got to do with it? Lol

    Posted by MS on 07 Jun 2024

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    People with low immune system due to other health challenges could be at risk as well and not primarily those with diabetics or AIDS. An individual on a prolong use of antibiotics can suffer from low immune system where the total white blood cell count (TWBC) if checked is less than the normal values. Such a person can be at risk if exposed to fungi spores. Hence, the use of face mask and gloves when gardening is encouraged for gardeners.

    Posted by Anibe on 06 Jun 2024

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    It sounds like any gardener could potentially wind up with a health problem from gardening. Who knew about that?

    Posted by sulter on 06 Jun 2024

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    I always wear gloves when gardening because you never know if animals have called in to use the garden as their toilet.

    Posted by Paula on 05 Jun 2024

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    Maybe you should use something more environmentally friendly then in your garden. It's only optional to grow things. If people are that bad then they should not use. Plus, is that stuff bad for the environment? Probably so! I have heard that roundup is very bad. I was exposed to it a couple of times and it made me cough. You cannot smell it presumably. I'd say roundup is more dangerous tho than pot mix. Plenty of information on the WEB about the dangers.

    Posted by MS on 05 Jun 2024

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    Leafy green I am not paranoid and MS I am not wealthy enough to afford a gardener . I was doing fine but DRs nearly killed me by not taking the time to read my notes . We all deserve better understanding of all life's complications.

    Posted by Aliki on 05 Jun 2024

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    I find the comments of no help at all .If you are unfortunate to haved icky immune system then something else happens that it is like a domino effect all things go down. Take me I have a immune problem and then DRs prescribe the wrong medication and my kidneys nearly failed since then I have been battling infection after infection , fungal in my nails thrush herpes and I don't know what else as I don't see the DRs 'til tomorrow. My garden was my great pleasure and I can't go near it until I get better.

    Posted by Aliki on 05 Jun 2024

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    I have been gardening and using potting mix for years, I never wear gloves or masks. All you have to remember is don't use dead dry potting mix that is giving off dust and you will be fine. Unless you stick your nose in the bag or use in an enclosed space you will not be at risk. And keep your immune system strong with fresh fruit lots of Vitamin C and don't forget to wash hands with soap when going back inside after handling potting mix.

    Posted by LeafyGreen on 05 Jun 2024

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    Good common sense advice Leafy Green. All dirt is a source of many potentially harmful microganisms. If your skin is broken at hands or arms use gloves and always wash up after gardening.

    Posted by mact on 15 Jun 2024

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    What no "Studies show/Experts/Scientists say" quotes today? I've been a keen gardener since I was about 6 years old and I have never been sick or infected by bacteria or fungi from working in the garden. I never wear gloves unless pruning Roses or any plants with thorns or poisonous saps. I've also drawn blood while pruning trees and plants. I just wash my hands when I've finished and I'm still alive. I also have diabetes. My last lung function test was above average for my age also. It seems that nowadays people want to be wrapped in cotton wool. Maybe they should swallow a spoonful of cement and harden up. Gardening is the healthiest and most rewarding therapy you can get into.

    Posted by ere on 04 Jun 2024

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    Me too, same. People are getting too paranoid about everything, yes you only have to be careful and also wash hands before going back inside.

    Posted by LeafyGreen on 05 Jun 2024

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    I don't garden so not my issue. Just use common sense when in the garden. There are all sorts of critters in there that can bite. Potting mix has warnings on the labels. Maybe if people are that immune compromised and it's more often the elderly who have this issue, then hire someone to do your garden. I don't think it's a major issue for most people.

    Posted by MS on 04 Jun 2024

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