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Add screenwash or risk contracting Legionnaires' disease

Posted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:26 am
by falkor
By Daniel Martin
Last updated at 10:41 PM on 14th June 2010 Comments (79)
Motorists risk catching legionnaires’ disease from the water in windscreen wash bottles, the Government’s health experts are warning.
As many as 20 per cent of cases of the bacterial infection are linked to the water used to clean car windows, they say.
And professional drivers are five times more likely to be infected with the bug, which thrives in warm, stagnant water and causes a potentially fatal lung infection.
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All drivers are now being urged to add screenwash – which has an antibacterial property – to their wiper water.
Traces of the legionella bacterium, which can cause the potentially fatal lung infection, were found in one in five cars that did not have the additive.
It was not present in any vehices that had screenwash. Most at risk are people driving a van, those who drive through industrial areas, and drivers who often have the car window open, according to the study by the Health Protection Agency.