Legionnaires' disease outbreak at Disneyland sickens nine visitors

Legionnaires' disease outbreak at Disneyland sickens nine visitors

According to a report from The Orange County Register, officials are investigating 12 cases of Legionnaires' disease that were contracted by people from or visiting the Anaheim area.

Please adhere to our commenting policy to avoid being banned. "We conducted a review and learned that two cooling towers had elevated levels of Legionella bacteria", Dr. Pamela Hymel, chief medical officers for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said in a statement Friday.

The discovery has led to the shutdown of two cooling towers at Disneyland, which nine of the 12 people visited during September.

The county health agency alerted health care providers to keep an eye on anyone who visited Anaheim or Disneyland and contracted Legionnaires' disease before November 7.

According to a LA Times report, Disney reported on November 3 that routine testing had detected elevated levels of Legionella in two cooling towers a month earlier, and the towers had been disinfected.

Health agency officials say the disease is becoming more common, citing 55 reports of Legionella disease in Orange County through October 2017, compared with 53 for the entire year of 2016 and 33 in 2015.

"There is no known ongoing risk associated with this outbreak", the agency said in a statement.

Officials say Legionella, at low levels, poses no threat to humans and is commonly found in human-made water systems.

Disneyland discovered the contamination last month and has taken the towers out of service for disinfection.

Cooling towers provide cold water for various uses at Disneyland and give off a vapor or mist that could have carried the Legionnella bacteria.

Legionnaires' disease is a progressive pneumonia with a 2-10 day incubation period.

Treatment includes antibiotics, though hospitalization may be needed for older patients.

Persons with legionellosis are not infectious; the infection is not spread from person to person.

Legionellosis refers to illness caused by Legionella bacteria and usually results from exposure to contaminated water aerosols or from aspirating contaminated water.

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