Disneyland Shuts Down Two Cooling Towers After Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak

Disneyland Shuts Down Two Cooling Towers After Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak

Disneyland shut down two bacteria-contaminated cooling towers after the cases of the disease were reported.

"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".

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 health agency had tracked 12 cases of the respiratory disease in the Anaheim area, including the nine cases among Disneyland visitors. The Anaheim outbreak includes patients between ages 52 to 94.

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Legionnaires' disease can be spread through inhaling droplets from contaminated water sources.

Nine people have contracted Legionnaire's disease after visiting Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified county officials of the outbreak among people who had traveled to Orange County. "Disney took the towers out of service on November 1, performed more testing and disinfection, and brought them back into service on November 5". County epidemiologists discovered that a cluster of people diagnosed with the disease had recently visited, lived or worked in Anaheim and contacted Disney after learning that several of them had gone to the theme park. It is treated with antibiotics and hospital care, but one in 10 of those who contract the disease dies from infection.

Disneyland says it learned about the Legionnaires' cases in late October and shut down and disinfected two cooling towers that tested for high levels of the bacteria. While many people have no symptoms, it can cause serious pneumonia and prove risky to those with lung or immune system problems.

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