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.Tweet
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