Disneyland shuts down cooling towers over Legionnaires' cases

Disneyland shuts down cooling towers over Legionnaires' cases

Disneyland shuts down cooling towers over Legionnaires' cases

Disneyland shut down two cooling towers in October after people who visited the Southern California theme park were diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease.

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.

The ages of the patients range from 52 to 94 and nine of them visited Disneyland in September.

"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.

Of the 12 cases of Legionnaire's disease that emerged in September, nine were among people who visited Disneyland in September.

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.

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The agency said there is no known ongoing risk associated with the outbreak. An employee working in the facility also got infected with the same disease.

"We conducted a review and learned that two cooling towers had elevated levels of Legionella bacteria", the statement said. The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and this station.

The bacteria often spreads though water vapor or mist, and older people or those with compromised immune systems are most susceptible.

Twelve people in the Anaheim region have been affected by the disease, including one who died.

It is treated with antibiotics, which can improve symptoms and shorten the length of illness.

The county agency issued an order November 8 requiring Disney to take the towers out of service until they are shown to be free from contamination. It brought the towers back into service November 5, but two days later, they were taken out of service again, she said.

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