Disneyland Is Source Of Legionnaire's Disease Outbreak

Monday, 13 Nov, 2017

Disneyland has shut down two cooling towers at its theme park after a dozen cases, including one death, from Legionnaire's disease - a serious respiratory illness caused by the Legionella bacteria - were reported in Anaheim.

Pamela Hymel, issued a statement on the outbreak, saying that according to the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) the exposure period was between September 12th to the 27th.

Nine people contracted Legionnaires' disease after they visited Disneyland in Anaheim in September, officials said.

Legionnaires' can cause severe pneumonia.

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The other three cases were Orange County residents who did not visit the park but lived or traveled in Anaheim. "We conducted a review and learned that two cooling towers had elevated levels of Legionella bacteria". "These towers were treated with chemicals that destroy the bacteria and are now shut down. There is no longer any known risk associated with our facilities".

ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 13: Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse Statue at Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty's Holiday Castle and "Believe In Holiday Magic" Fireworks spectacular held at Disneyland Resort on December 13, 2007 in Anaheim, California.

The water towers are situated in a backstage area near the New Orleans Square Train Station, and are more than 100 feet from areas accessible to guests, according to a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman. People can contract the disease by breathing in small droplets of water in the air that contain the Legionella bacteria.

Cooling towers provide cold water for various uses at Disneyland and give off a vapour or mist that could have carried the Legionella bacteria. The other nine are suffering from "additional health issues" at present. It brought the towers back into service November 5, but two days later, they were taken out of service again, she said. Disney independently made a decision to take the towers out of operation the day before, Good said. 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.