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gpolit.com November 21, 2017


Disneyland shuts down cooling towers over Legionnaires' cases

13 November 2017, 12:52 | Darrell Baldwin

Getty Images Disneyland

Getty Images
Disneyland

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.

Ten of the 12 patients required treatment in hospital but there have been no new cases of the disease linked to the Californian city since September.

Although the disease primarily targets the lungs, it is also known to infect open wounds and other vital organs of the body such as the heart. Those towers were chemically treated and shut down to eliminate further infection.

County health officials identified Disneyland Park as a common location of eight of the cases last month, and have been working to identify potential sources, Good said. One person, who had not visited Disneyland, died from the disease. Nine of the individuals had spent time in Disneyland Park in September, the Orange County Health Care Agency told the paper, and all were aged between 52 and 94.

The towers are near the New Orleans Square Train Station, more than 100 feet away from parts of the theme park accessible to guests, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman said Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"We conducted a review and learned that two cooling towers had elevated levels of Legionella bacteria". "We have proactively shared this information with OCHCA (Orange County Health Care Agency) and given our actions". "There is no known ongoing risk associated with this outbreak". Disney took the towers out of service on November 1, performed more testing and disinfection, and brought them back into service on November 5.

Test results for the towers could take up to two weeks.

The bacteria commonly is found in water systems and poses no threat to humans at low levels.

Most cases of the infection start when people inhale microscopic water droplets containing legionella bacteria.

Legionnaires' can cause severe pneumonia.

There have been 55 reports of Legionella disease in Orange County residents through October of 2017; 53 were reported for the entire year of 2016; and 33 in 2015, according to Good.



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