Disneyland shuts down cooling towers after reported disease outbreak

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. The park and a contractor tested the cooling towers and found elevated levels of Legionella bacteria. Disney independently made a decision to take the towers out of operation the day before, Good said.

"On October 27, 2017, when the Disneyland Park was identified as a common location of eight (8) cases, HCA contacted the Disney organization and set up site visits at the Park to assess potential sources". Disney took the towers out of service on November 1, performed more testing and disinfection, and brought them back into service on November 5.

The 12 cases range in age from 52 to 94, Good said. Of that total, nine had visited the park in September, and the remainder lived or traveled in Anaheim.

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According to Good, during the week of October 20-26 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified Health Care Agency staff of the Legionnaire's disease cases that occurred in September. 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.

"There is no known ongoing risk associated with this outbreak", the health care agency said in a statement.

Legionnaires' is a airborne disease which causes a form of pneumonia especially unsafe to people 50 years or older.

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Officials say Legionella, at low levels, poses no threat to humans and is commonly found in human-made water systems.

People generally contract the disease two days after exposure and usually can be treated with antibiotics, though the CDC said one in 10 people die from the infection. Infected persons often have pneumonia and may need to be hospitalized.

Persons with legionellosis are not infectious; the infection is not spread from person to person. It typically strikes the elderly and people with compromised immune systems, and can be fatal, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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