Disneyland Shuts Down Cooling Towers After Visitors Contract Legionnaires' Disease

Legionnaires Disease Found Among Disneyland Visitors

Associated Press

Disneyland shutdown two cooling towers this week after a small number of visitors to the park were sickened with Legionnaires' disease, park officials told The Hollywood Reporter.

The age range of those that contracted the disease during this concentrated period goes from 52 to 94. The deceased was not among the persons that visited the park. Health officials said 10 people were hospitalized, and one person "with additional health issues" died but was not among those who visited Disneyland. Good's email statement didn't indicate if any of those who contracted the disease were related to each other. The company said the towers, located in a space more than 100 feet from areas accessible to guests, were disinfected and were returned to service Sunday.

The towers were found to be contaminated with Legionella bacteria, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

"On November 3, 2017, Disney reported to HCA that records provided by a contractor indicated that (as part of their quarterly, routine testing) elevated levels of Legionella had been identified in (two of 18) cooling towers on October 2, 2017 and treated/disinfected by the contractor on October 4, 2017".

"These towers were treated with chemicals that destroy the bacteria and are now shut down", said Hymel. It was discovered that several people diagnosed with the disease had recently visited, lived or worked in Anaheim and they contacted Disney after visiting the park.

Legionella pneumophila is the most common cause of infection, and the majority of L. pneumophila infections are caused by serogroup 1.

The county agency issued an order November 8 requiring Disney to take the towers out of service until they are shown to be free from contamination.

Two are Anaheim residents, five were visitors who stayed in Anaheim between 9/12 and 9/27, and one works in Anaheim but lives in another county.

Legionellosis refers to illness caused by Legionella bacteria and usually results from exposure to contaminated water aerosols or from aspirating contaminated water.

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