Monday, June 14, 2010

Windscreen water infection risk

Article on the BBC website by Emma Wilkinson on 13 June 2010

The Health Protection Agency has been studying Legionnaires' Disease and concluded that 20% of the cases experienced may have their source in windscreen wiper water
Yet adding screenwash kills the bacteria and could save lives, the Agency advised.

Legionnaires' disease is fairly rare, with 345 cases reported in 2009. Early symptoms feel similar to flu with muscle aches, tiredness, headaches, dry cough and fever. It mainly affects the over 50s, is generally more common in men and is fatal in around 10-15% of patients.

Most cases are sporadic and a source of the infection is not found. But it was noticed that people who spend a long time driving were at higher risk of infection.

A pilot study found traces of Legionella 20% of cars that did not have screenwash, but none in cars that did.

The advice is clear, add screenwash to your windscreen washer water.

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