Disneyland Shuts Down 2 Cooling Towers After Legionnaires' Disease Sickens Park Visitors

Legionnaires Disease Found Among Disneyland Visitors

Associated Press

The nine Disneyland cases are among 12 total cases that the Orange County Health Care Agency is investigating regarding people who live in or visited Anaheim in September.

County health officials say 12 people contracted the lung disease, including one Disneyland employee, with one person who had not visited the park ultimately dying. Ten of the victims were hospitalized and one person - who had not visited Disneyland - had died. According to health officials, the person who died in connection to the Disneyland outbreak had additional health issues.

There is no known ongoing risk associated with the outbreak, according to Good.

The discovery has led to the shutdown of two cooling towers at Disneyland, which nine of the 12 people visited during September.

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Legionnaires' can cause severe pneumonia.

On November 3, Disney reported that routine testing had detected elevated levels of Legionella in two cooling towers a month earlier, and they were disinfected, according to the health agency.

Those most at risk of getting sick from Legionella infection include people who are smokers, have chronic lung disease or weak immune systems, and people over the age of 65. It can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in human-made water systems like showers and faucets, cooling towers, decorative fountains and water features and so on.

The two cooling towers are located in a backstage area behind the New Orleans Square train station area of the theme park. The county contacted Disney after it discovered several had gone to the park.

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"On November 1, 2017, Disney had the towers taken out of service".

Orange County has recorded more than 55 cases of the disease this year and the number of cases in the county has increased in recent years.

Disney took the towers out of service again on Tuesday because the health agency required they remain down until test results verify they are free of Legionella contamination.

In a statement, Dr. Pamela Hymel, chief medical officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said Disneyland learned about the Legionnaires' cases on October 27.

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It takes 2 to 10 days for symptoms of Legionnaires' disease to appear.

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