Two cooling centers shut down at Disneyland for Legionnaires disease

Leslie Hanson
November 14, 2017

The illness doesn't spread between people and comes from breathing in mist that contains the bacteria.

The Orange County Register also revealed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the main national public health center of the United States estimated that the disease has been reported in 6000 cases in 2015 nationwide.

Twelve cases of Legionnaires' disease were detected about three weeks ago among people aged between 52 and 94 and had spent time in Disneyland Anaheim.

At least 9 people who visited the Anaheim theme park in September developed symptoms of Legionnaires', according to Orange County health officials. Good noted that patient who had died had other health issues beyond Legionnaires' disease. These towers were closed down and disinfected to clear them of the disease. More disinfection and testing measures were followed before bringing the towers back into service on November 5.

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

Jessica Good said in a statement that, "To date, no additional Legionella cases have been identified with potential exposure in Anaheim after September".

Hymel said that local health officials had assured them that there was no longer any risk to guests or employees of the park. While many people have no symptoms, it can cause serious pneumonia and prove unsafe to those with lung or immune system problems.

The outbreaks of the disease are generally found in huge air-conditioning systems and cooling towers that release water vapor into the air as well as decorative fountains and hot tubs. 10 of the 12 people were hospitalized after contracting the disease. However, it is not contagious, as it is not spread from one person to another. It is treated with antibiotics, which can improve symptoms and shorten the length of illness. But if you smoke, have a weakened immune system, have a chronic lung disease, have another health condition like diabetes or cancer, or are over 50, you're more likely to become infected, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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