Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

Disneyland shuts down cooling towers following Legionnaire's cases among guests

Disneyland shuts down cooling towers following Legionnaire's cases among guests

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.

According to a report from The Orange County Register, officials are investigating 12 cases of Legionnaires' disease that were contracted by people from or visiting the Anaheim area.

The age range of those that contracted the disease during this concentrated period goes from 52 to 94.

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Of the 12 cases of Legionnaire's disease that emerged in September, nine were among people who visited Disneyland in September.

As reported by ABC 7, Disney's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pamela Hymel confirmed that Disney learned of the cases on October 27.

The disease is treatable, but roughly one in 10 people who contract the disease die from it, with people over 50 with weakened immune systems or chronic lung disease most at risk.

"There is no known ongoing risk associated with this outbreak", the agency said in a statement. Two cooling towers that were in an area inaccessible to guests have since been disinfected and shut down until health officials can certify them as disinfected.

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The county agency issued an order November 8 requiring Disney to take the towers out of service until they are shown to be free from contamination.

On Nov. 3, Disney informed the health agency that routine testing had detected elevated levels of Legionella bacteria in two cooling towers a month earlier.

OCHCA said the Legionnaires' disease exposure period in Anaheim was September 12-27.

According to WebMD, Legionnaires' Disease is a "severe form of pneumonia that sickens about 5,000 people in the USA each year". It is not contagious from person to person. It is treated with antibiotics, which can improve symptoms and shorten the length of illness.

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