Legionnaires' Disease Found Among Disneyland Visitors

by Jared Lewis November 13, 2017, 0:23
Legionnaires' Disease Found Among Disneyland Visitors

Health officials are investigating 12 cases of Legionnaires' disease traced to Anaheim, California, including nine cases among visitors to Disneyland in September.

OCHCA were notified that of 11 individuals who were diagnosed with the disease, eight had visited the resort.

Orange County has had more than 55 reported cases of Legionnaires' disease this year and the number of cases has increased in recent years both in the county and nationally, according to the health care agency.

The victims were aged between 52 and 94.

The person who died had "additional health issues", doctors said.

Disneyland was informed of the Anaheim cases on October 27 and after testing found that two cooling towers had elevated levels of Legionella bacteria.

Nine people contracted Legionnaires' disease after visiting Disneyland in September, a Disneyland spokesperson confirmed Saturday.

The Legionella bacteria can cause respiratory illness and pneumonia, and especially in older people or those with existing health problems, can result in death. But in large concentrations, often due to stagnant or improperly sanitized water systems, the bacteria can be transmitted through inhaling contaminated water vapor. "We conducted a review and learned that two cooling towers had elevated levels of Legionella bacteria". The OCHCA reported on November 8th that one person died.

'There is no known ongoing risk associated with this outbreak, ' the agency said.

The towers are in a backstage area near the New Orleans Square Train Station, a Disneyland Resort spokesperson said. "These towers were treated with chemicals that destroy the bacteria and are now shut down". While many people have no symptoms, it can cause serious pneumonia and prove risky to those with lung or immune system problems. Soon after, an order was issued by the health agency requiring preventing Disney from reopening the towers before health officials verified that they were free from Legionella contamination. Disney took the towers out of service on November 1, performed more testing and disinfection, and brought them back into service on November 5.

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