Health Care

Disneyland shuts down cooling towers after 12 diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease

Disneyland shuts down cooling towers after 12 diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease”

Good added that officials from the Orange County Health Care Agency have been studying on identifying potential sources and have confirmed that the Disneyland Park is the common location identified in all eight of the cases discovered last month. The park did determine that bacteria levels in two of the park's cooling towers near the New Orleans Square's train station did in fact contain elevated levels of Legionella, the typically freshwater dwelling bacteria that causes the infection. One patient reportedly had not visited the park, though Disneyland's own investigation proved revealing.

The 12 patients are between ages 52 and 94, and 10 were hospitalized, she said.

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 chief medical officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Pamela Hymel, said in a written statement that after learning of the Legionnaires cases, park officials ordered the cooling towers treated with chemicals to destroy the bacteria and shut them down. "We have proactively shared this information with OCHCA and given our actions, they have indicated there is no longer any known risk associated with our facilities". Instead, the bacteria spreads through mist from devices like air-conditioning units or something like the park's cooling towers, which emit water vapor into the air.

Legionnaires' disease can be spread through inhaling droplets from contaminated water sources.

The Legionnaire's disease outbreak includes 12 people that were infected by the illness.

Health officials subsequently issued an order that the towers remain shut down until they are verified to be free from contamination.

According to OCHA spokeswoman Good, the two affected Disneyland towers were put back into service on November 5th, but then shut down again.

The test results are expected in about two weeks.

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