Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Legionnaires' Disease Found Among Disneyland Visitors

Legionnaires' Disease Found Among Disneyland Visitors

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.

According to a LA Times report, Disney reported on November 3 that routine testing had detected elevated levels of Legionella in two cooling towers a month earlier, and the towers had been disinfected.

Although the Health Care Agency sent alerts to medical providers and other public health departments to help identify other people who have contracted Legionnaire's disease, the agency issued no public press releases or statements because "there was no known, ongoing risk associated with this event", Good said.

Twelve cases of the disease have been reported in the Anaheim area; among those, eight people had visited Disneyland in September and one worked there, the Register reports. The Anaheim outbreak includes patients between ages 52 to 94. Legionnaires' disease is spread by bacteria in water vapor. That person did not visit Disneyland, she said.

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. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified county officials of the outbreak among people who had traveled to Orange County.

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

Disneyland discovered the contamination last month and has taken the towers out of service for disinfection. It is treated with antibiotics and hospital care, but one in 10 of those who contract the disease dies from infection. While many people have no symptoms, it can cause serious pneumonia and prove unsafe to those with lung or immune system problems.

Cooling towers are evaporative systems that provide cooled water for various uses such as refrigeration but not for drinking water.

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