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Disneyland shuts down cooling towers in reported disease outbreak

November 11, 2017, 8:54 AM · Nine cases of Legionnaires' disease have been diagnosed among Disneyland visitors in recent months and the Disneyland Resort has closed two backstage cooling towers located behind New Orleans Square.

The towers were found to be contaminated with Legionella bacteria, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

The health agency had tracked 12 cases of the respiratory disease in the Anaheim area, including the nine cases among Disneyland visitors. Legionnaires' disease is spread by bacteria in water vapor. The disease was named after 29 men died after attending an American Legion convention in Philadelphia in 1976, where the previously unidentified bacterium was breeding one of the hotel's cooling towers.

Disneyland discovered the contamination last month and has taken the towers out of service for disinfection. They remain out of service, pending inspection by local authorities.

People ages 50 or older, or those with weakened immune systems, are most at risk for the illness. The Anaheim outbreak includes patients between ages 52 to 94. The incubation period is two to 10 days before symptoms appear, after exposure to the bacteria.

Treatment includes antibiotics, though hospitalization may be needed for older patients. An estimated 13,000 cases a year result in hospitalization around the country, which works out to about 35 people a day nationwide.

Replies (3)

November 11, 2017 at 9:03 AM · We will be there on 12-3-2017. Makes me a little nervous hearing about this.
November 11, 2017 at 11:02 AM · I wouldn't be too nervous tbh. Most large companies like this end up being safer after something like this happens. Their company policies and procedures end up being stricter, and even more closely monitored.
November 11, 2017 at 11:55 AM · I'm guessing cooling towers aren't very necessary during the cooler seasons. I'll be visiting DL at the end of the month.

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