Legionnaires' disease outbreak at Disneyland sickens nine visitors

Legionnaires Disease Found Among Disneyland Visitors

Legionnaires Disease Found Among Disneyland Visitors

The famous theme park took action after it was discovered that high levels of bacteria that can cause Legionnaires' Disease were in the towers.

Eight of the twelve cases relate to persons visiting Disneyland, as well as someone who worked at the tourist destination.

The other three cases were Orange County residents who did not visit the park but lived or traveled in Anaheim. One of those infected was a Disney worker. One patient, who hadn't visited the park, has died, the agency said.

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.

Pamela Hymel, issued a statement on the outbreak, saying that according to the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) the exposure period was between September 12th to the 27th.

"These towers were treated with chemicals that destroy the bacteria and are now shut down", said Hymel.

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Although the disease primarily targets the lungs, it is also known to infect open wounds and other vital organs of the body such as the heart. "They have indicated there is no longer any known risk associated with our facilities".

"Legionnaires' disease is not contagious, can not be transmitted person to person, and comes from a bacteria that is naturally in the environment, usually in water", says Dr. Hymel.

The people were between 52 to 94 years of age. It is typically contracted by breathing mist from the water that contains it.

Disneyland Park informed health officials this month that elevated levels of Legionella had been identified in two of its 18 towers, which were then treated and disinfected.

The county agency issued an order November 8 requiring Disney to take the towers out of service until they are shown to be free from contamination. The towers underwent more testing and disinfection on November 1 and were running again four days later. Soon after, an order was issued by the health agency requiring preventing Disney from reopening the towers before health officials verified that they were free from Legionella contamination.

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