Disneyland shuts down cooling towers after Legionnaires' disease found among visitors

Xinhua
Disneyland has shut down two cooling towers after people who visited the Southern California theme park came down with Legionnaires' disease.
Xinhua

Disneyland has shut down two cooling towers that were found to have high levels of Legionella bacteria after several visitors to the theme park in Anaheim, Orange County, the United States, were sickened with Legionnaires' disease.

Orange County health experts are investigating 12 cases of Legionnaires' disease among people who live in or visited the Anaheim area in September. Eight of the cases involve people visiting Disneyland and one person worked at the park. One person, who had not visited Disneyland, has died, the Orange County Register reported.

Twelve people, aged 52 to 94, were diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease, a type of airborne disease that causes a severe form of pneumonia to most people 50 years or older or with a weak immune system, Jessica Good, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Health Care Agency, wrote in an email Friday night to the Orange County Register.

Disneyland officials said they have worked with the county health care agency and treated the towers with chemicals that destroy the bacteria.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Legionella is a type of bacterium found naturally in freshwater environments. 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. People can get Legionnaires' disease when they breathe in small droplets of water in the air that contain the bacteria.

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