Medicine

People Contract Legionnaire's Disease After Visiting Disneyland

People Contract Legionnaire's Disease After Visiting Disneyland

Disneyland Park has shut down two cooling towers at its park in Southern California following an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease.

About a dozen people in the Anaheim, CA area, or visitors to the area in September were diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease, according to Orange County health officials. One person, who had not visited Disneyland, died from the disease.

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

After conducting routine testing a month earlier, Disneyland authorities detected elevated levels of Legionella in the two cooling towers and performed a thorough disinfection of the towers at the time. Those towers were chemically treated and shut down to eliminate further infection.

"To date, no additional Legionella cases have been identified with potential exposure in Anaheim after September", Good said.

"Legionnaires' disease is not contagious, can not be transmitted person to person, and comes from a bacteria that is naturally in the environment, usually in water", says Dr. Hymel.

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The Legionella bacteria can cause respiratory illness and pneumonia, and especially in older people or those with existing health problems, can result in death.

Legionnaires' disease can be spread through inhaling droplets from contaminated water sources. It is typically contracted by breathing mist from the water that contains it. "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".

Legionnaires' disease appear to be on the rise, with Orange County reporting more than 55 cases this year.

People who have contracted Legionnaire's disease are not contagious.

Disney took the towers out of service again on Tuesday. Disney took the towers out of service on November 1, performed more testing and disinfection, and brought them back into service on November 5. 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.