Disneyland shuts down 2 cooling towers after Legionnaires' disease cases

Legionnaires Disease Found Among Disneyland Visitors

The famous theme park took action after it was discovered that high levels of bacteria that can cause Legionnaires' Disease were in the towers.

The other three are Orange County residents who didn't visit Disneyland but live or travelled to Anaheim, reported Orange County Health Care Agency spokeswoman Jessica Good, Friday night in response to earlier Voice of OC questions.

Nine people contracted Legionnaires' disease after they visited Disneyland in Anaheim in September, officials said.

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Symptoms develop 2 to 10 days after exposure, the OCHCA said, and include fever, chills, cough, muscle aches, and headaches.

According to Dr. Pamela Hymel, chief medical officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, the towers were shut down after Disney was contacted by the county health care agency on October 27 about increased Legionnaires' cases in Anaheim. The towers were chemically treated to combat the problem, and there is no ongoing threat to guests' health, the Register reports. Outbreaks often happen in hot tubs, cooling towers and large air-conditioning systems that emit water vapor into the air.

Ten of the twelve were hospitalized and one person "with additional health issues" died, according to health officials. An employee working in the facility also got infected with the same disease.

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According to the OCHCA, the Legionnaire's disease exposure period ranged from September 12 to September 27, Hymel said, adding that Disney thoroughly reviewed all regular water testing for the resort, "including work performed by contracted third-party experts", and "implemented additional redundant testing of other cooling towers on our property".

The towers are in a backstage area near the New Orleans Square Train Station, a Disneyland Resort spokesperson said. Older people and those with health issues are particularly at risk. The towers will reopen after it's confirmed they are no longer contaminated. Disney independently made a decision to take the towers out of operation the day before, Good said.

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