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People Contract Legionnaire's Disease After Visiting Disneyland

12 November 2017, 12:27 | Max Haynes

People Contract Legionnaire's Disease After Visiting Disneyland

People Contract Legionnaire's Disease After Visiting Disneyland

The nine Disneyland cases are among 12 total cases that the Orange County Health Care Agency is investigating regarding people who live in or visited Anaheim in September. Those who were afflicted ranged in age from 52 to 94.

Nine of the visitors had visited Disneyland Park in September before developing the illness, according to the paper, citing the Orange County Health Care Agency. One patient, who hadn't visited the park, has died.

Although the Health Care Agency sent alerts to medical providers and other public health departments to help identify other people who have contracted Legionnaire's disease, the agency issued no public press releases or statements because "there was no known, ongoing risk associated with this event", Good said. The outbreak was traced to the convention hotel's air conditioning system, and Legionnaire's disease has since been sourced to contaminated water or mist. Ten were hospitalized and one person "with additional health issues" died, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. It can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in human-made water systems like showers and faucets, cooling towers, decorative fountains and water features and so on.

The towers are in a backstage area near the New Orleans Square Train Station, each more than 100 feet from areas accessible to guests, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman said.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified county authorities about three weeks ago of several cases of the disease among people who had traveled to Orange County in September. The towers underwent more testing and disinfection on November 1 and were running again four days later. Disney took the towers out of service on November 1, performed more testing and disinfection, and brought them back into service on November 5.

Disneyland was informed of the cases October 27, chemically treating and voluntarily shutting down two cooling towers to rid them of the Legionella bacteria, said Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chief Medical Officer Pamela Hymel.

There have been 55 reports of Legionella disease in Orange County residents through October of 2017; 53 were reported for the entire year of 2016; and 33 in 2015, according to Good.



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