Disneyland shuts down cooling towers after Legionnaires' cases

Disneyland Park has shut down two cooling towers following an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease

Disneyland has shut down and decontaminated two cooling towers following an outbreak of Legionnaires disease that sickened 12 people, nine of them guests or employees at the theme park in Anaheim, county health officials said on Saturday.

An additional 3 people who had been to Anaheim but not Disneyland were also diagnosed with the disease, said Jessica Good, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA).

Ten of the victims, who ranged in age from 52 to 94, were hospitalized.

According to the Orange County health agency Legionella is becoming more common in the United States and in Orange County, where 55 cases have been reported through October 2017, compared with 53 for all of 2016 and 33 in 2015. "These towers were treated with chemicals that destroy the bacteria and are now shut down". An estimated 10,000 to 18,000 people in the U.S. are infected with Legionella bacteria, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Legionella bacteria can be found sometimes in water systems that lead to Legionnaires disease, which is a severe type of severe. the disease can typically be contracted by in-taking mist through breathing, while the source of mists may be air conditioning units in hot tubs, showers or large facilities.

Disneyland took the towers out of service on November 1 and told the health agency it had performed additional disinfecting and testing. The towers were taken out of service November 1, disinfected, went back in operation on November 5 but were shut down again Tuesday and will remain offline until tests confirm they are free from contamination, according to the park and the county health agency.

The test results are expected in about two weeks.

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