Disneyland shuts cooling towers after Legionnaires' outbreak

  • Disneyland shuts cooling towers after Legionnaires' outbreak

Disneyland shuts cooling towers after Legionnaires' outbreak

Of the twelve reported cases in Anaheim, patients ranged in age from 52 to 94. One of the 12, who had other health issues and did not visit Disneyland, died.

There have been no new cases of the disease linked to Anaheim since September, according to Orange County Health Care Agency.

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.

Disneyland has shut down two cooling towers in response to a number of visitors to the Anaheim, California, theme park coming down with Legionnaires' disease. "It can become a health concern if it grows and spreads in human-made water systems and then comes in contact with vulnerable persons who inhale small droplets of contaminated water".

Dr. Pamela Hymel, chief medical officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said in a statement that Disneyland learned about the Legionnaires' cases on October 27.

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. It is typically contracted by breathing mist from the water that contains it.

The towers traced to the outbreak were located near the New Orleans Square Train Station, both towers more than 100 feet from public areas.

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

According to a LA Times report, Disney reported on November 3 that routine testing had detected elevated levels of Legionella in two cooling towers a month earlier, and the towers had been disinfected.

"There is no known ongoing risk associated with this outbreak", the agency said in a statement. The disease can also cause cardiac, renal and gastrointestinal involvement. The other nine are suffering from "additional health issues" at present. It brought the towers back into service November 5, but two days later, they were taken out of service again, she said. The towers will reopen after it's confirmed they are no longer contaminated.