Medical

Disneyland Is Source Of Legionnaire's Disease Outbreak

Disneyland Is Source Of Legionnaire's Disease Outbreak

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.

Of the 12, 10 have been hospitalized and one has died.

This follows a report in late October when eight cases were being investigated. The disease was named after 29 men died after attending an American Legion convention in Philadelphia in 1976, where the previously unidentified bacterium was breeding one of the hotel's cooling towers.

Nine people contracted Legionnaires' disease after visiting Disneyland in September, a Disneyland spokesperson confirmed Saturday.

According to the OCHCA, the Legionnaire's disease exposure period ranged from September 12 to September 27, Hymel said, adding that Disney thoroughly reviewed all regular water testing for the resort, "including work performed by contracted third-party experts", and "implemented additional redundant testing of other cooling towers on our property". "These towers were treated with chemicals that destroy the bacteria and are now shut down".

Disneyland discovered the contamination last month and has taken the towers out of service for disinfection.




Disneyland says they have shared this information with OCHCA.

Test results for the towers could take up to two weeks.

Jessica Good, a spokeswoman for the OC Health Care Agency, told the newspaper on Friday that 12 people, ages 52 to 94, were diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease. Legionnaires' can cause severe pneumonia and is spread by mist from contaminated water.

The health agency said there is no ongoing risk to the public and no other cases have been reported, although they cautioned public health officials to be aware of the situation.

The bacteria commonly is found in water systems and poses no threat to humans at low levels.

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


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