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Disneyland shuts down cooling towers following Legionnaire's cases among guests

12 November 2017

Nine of the 12 reportedly visited Disneyland in September reported the Associated Press (h/t ABC 7 News.) One person, "with additional health issues", who did not visit the park has died from the disease.

Eight guests and one worker at Disneyland have contracted Legionnaires' disease, prompting the Anaheim, Calif., theme park to close a pair of cooling towers.

"On Oct. 27, we learned from the Orange County Health Care Agency of increased Legionnaires' disease cases in Anaheim", said a statement from Dr. Pamela Hymel, chief medical officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Disneyland has shut down two cooling towers at its theme park after a dozen cases, including one death, from Legionnaire's disease - a serious respiratory illness caused by the Legionella bacteria - were reported in Anaheim.

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The health agency said there is no ongoing risk to the public and no other cases have been reported, although they cautioned public health officials to be aware of the situation.

Disneyland shut down two bacteria-contaminated cooling towers after the cases of the disease were reported.

Case ages range from 52-94. They report having performed subsequent testing and disinfection and brought the towers back into service November 5, 2017.

On Tuesday, Disney took the towers down again because the health agency ordered them to verify they were free of the Legionella contamination. In a statement, Dr. Pamela Hymel, chief medical officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said Disneyland learned about the Legionnaires' cases on October 27.

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OCHCA said the Legionnaires' disease exposure period in Anaheim was September 12-27. The outbreak was traced to the convention hotel's air conditioning system, and Legionnaire's disease has since been sourced to contaminated water or mist. Infected persons often have pneumonia and may need to be hospitalized.

The disease can be treated with antibiotics.

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

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Disneyland shuts down cooling towers following Legionnaire's cases among guests