Disneyland shuts cooling towers after Legionnaires' outbreak

13 November, 2017, 00:22 | Author: Wilson Dawson
  • Legionnaires' disease outbreak at Disneyland sickens nine visitors

Disneyland in Anaheim, California, shut down two of its cooling towers Tuesday after Orange County health officials discovered cases of Legionnaires' disease in several people who had visited the theme park in the last two months.

A dozen cases of the bacterial lung infection were discovered about three weeks ago, the Orange County Health Care Agency announced Friday.

Twelve people between the ages of 52 to 94, who spent time in Anaheim, developed the disease, including nine people who had visited Disneyland in September before developing the illness.

"Legionnaires' disease is not contagious, can not be transmitted person to person, and comes from a bacteria that is naturally in the environment, usually in water", says Dr. Hymel. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chief medical officer Dr. Pamela Hymel noted in a statement on the matter that Disney was informed on October 27 about the potential link the park had to the recent Legionnaires' disease reports.

"These towers were treated with chemicals that destroy the bacteria and are now shut down", said Hymel.

ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 13: Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse Statue at Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty's Holiday Castle and "Believe In Holiday Magic" Fireworks spectacular held at Disneyland Resort on December 13, 2007 in Anaheim, California. One of the 12, who had other health issues and did not visit Disneyland, died.


The towers are located near the New Orleans Square Train Station in the theme park.

A Disneyland employee is among those who contracted the disease, according to the report.

"We conducted a review and learned that two cooling towers had elevated levels of Legionella bacteria", Hymel said in the release. Outbreaks often happen in hot tubs, cooling towers and large air-conditioning systems that emit water vapor into the air.

It is treated with antibiotics, which can improve symptoms and shorten the length of illness.

Health officials subsequently issued an order that the towers remain shut down until they are verified to be free from contamination. The towers will reopen after it's confirmed they are no longer contaminated.

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