Disneyland shuts down water cooling towers after cases of Legionnaires' disease

13 November, 2017, 00:24 | Author: Garry Little
  • Legionnaires' disease outbreak at Disneyland sickens nine visitors

Disneyland shut down two cooling towers in October after people who visited the Southern California theme park were diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease.

A total of a dozen cases of the bacterial lung infection were discovered in Anaheim, California about three weeks ago, the Orange County Health Care Agency announced Friday.

Ten of the twelve were hospitalized and one person "with additional health issues" died, according to health officials. Nine of those people had visited Disneyland in September before they developed the illness.

"We conducted a review and learned that two cooling towers had elevated levels of Legionella bacteria", Hymel said in the release.

"These towers were treated with chemicals that destroy the bacteria and are now shut down", said Hymel.

County health officials identified Disneyland Park as a common location of eight of the cases last month, and have been working to identify potential sources, Good said.

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Of the 12 cases of Legionnaire's disease that emerged in September, nine were among people who visited Disneyland in September.

The towers traced to the outbreak were located near the New Orleans Square Train Station, both towers more than 100 feet from public areas.

Hymel said that local health officials had assured them that there was no longer any risk to guests or employees of the park.

Legionnaires' disease is a severe, often lethal, form of pneumonia. It is spread by mist from contaminated water.

The county health agency alerted health care providers to keep an eye on anyone who visited Anaheim or Disneyland and contracted Legionnaires' disease before November 7. It typically strikes the elderly and people with compromised immune systems, and can be fatal, according to the Mayo Clinic. The towers were taken out of service November 1, disinfected, went back in operation on November 5 but were shut down again Tuesday and will remain offline until tests confirm they are free from contamination, according to the park and the county health agency.

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