Health Care

Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Anaheim, possible links to Disneyland

Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Anaheim, possible links to Disneyland

Disneyland shut down two water cooling towers after health officials discovered several cases of Legionnaire's disease among people who visited the popular California theme park, authorities said.

Nine people have contracted Legionnaire's disease after visiting Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.

The two water cooling towers are located in a backstage area near the New Orleans Square Train Station, more than 100 feet from public areas. Legionnaires' disease is spread by bacteria in water vapor.

Ten of the twelve were hospitalized and one person "with additional health issues" died, according to health officials.

The patients, ranging in age from 52 to 94, lived or had spent time in Anaheim, and nine had visited Disneyland in September.

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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".

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.

"There is no known ongoing risk associated with this outbreak", the agency 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". They were turned on November 5th, but were taken out of service again on November 7th and will remain off until tests verify they are free from Legionella contamination.

The illness can not be spread by person to person contact. Good's email statement didn't indicate if any of those who contracted the disease were related to each other. Those at higher risk include people over the age of 50 with weak immune systems or lung problems.