Granddad killed by Legionnaires disease caught from garden hose

Stephen Clements died just a week after he inhaled the toxic bacteria

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A woman has warned people to be extra careful after her husband died from Legionnaires' disease he is believed to have contracted from a hosepipe.

Stephen Clements, a granddad from Cromer, Norfolk, was a keen gardener who died just a week after he inhaled the toxic bacteria.

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The 63-year-old is thought to have breathed in poisonous spores that had grown in stagnant water inside the hose.

The former builder's wife Alison is now warning others about the risks of catching the waterborne illness.

The stagnant water in the hosepipe contained the deadly bacteria

She said: "Stephen had cleaned the patio earlier in the year and left the hose out across the lawn filled with water.

"In the winter sun, it was the perfect temperature for the bacteria to breed.

"He was cleaning the terrace with a stiff broom and the garden hose on spray.

"The sweeping of the broom caused the perfect aerosol, which my husband then breathed into his lungs."

Mrs Clements said her husband had a heart condition but was otherwise "active and well", explaining that within a week symptoms of an upset stomach had rapidly developed into pneumonia.

He died on February 24 at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital just a week after first falling sick.

Legionnaires' disease is caused by a type of bacterium called Legionella that infect people who breathe it in.

Legionella can be found in many different environments, such as water towers and even spa pools.

Symptoms of the deadly disease illness include muscle aches, tiredness, headaches, dry cough and fever, leading on to pneumonia.

Mrs Clements also spoke of her anguish at losing her husband of 43 years so suddenly, adding: "I didn't believe them when they said he might not make it.

"His his heart rate was going up and his kidneys began to fail. And then they told us that the antibiotics weren't working on the pneumonia.

"They took him off his heart medication and his heartbeat maybe another half a dozen times, and then he was gone."

The family of Mr Clements, including his two children Joanna and Jefferson, said: "Our family feels his loss very deeply, especially as his death could have been prevented if we had had the knowledge of the dangers of Legionella bacteria

"We had no idea that a garden hose could be so lethal."

A spokesman for North Norfolk District Council spokesman said the authority was asked by Public Health England to investigate Mr Clement's death.

But although water samples from the hosepipe contained Legionella bacteria, tests associating that strain with Mr Clement's were inconclusive.


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