Legionnaires' Disease Found Among Disneyland Visitors

JAN. 22 2015 FILE

Legionnaires' Disease Found Among Disneyland Visitors

Disneyland shutdown two cooling towers this week after a small number of visitors to the park were sickened with Legionnaires' disease, park officials told The Hollywood Reporter.

County health officials say 12 people contracted the lung disease, including one Disneyland employee, with one person who had not visited the park ultimately dying. Of the twelve reported cases in Anaheim, patients ranged in age from 52 to 94.

All the patients lived or had spent time in Anaheim and nine had visited Disneyland in September. Ten of the 11 ill were hospitalized, and one person died.

Of the 12 cases of Legionnaire's disease that emerged in September, nine were among people who visited Disneyland in September.

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.

People generally contract the disease two days after exposure and usually can be treated with antibiotics, though the CDC said one in 10 people die from the infection.

Legionnaires' is a severe lung infection caused by exposure to contaminated water or mist.

The health agency told The AP that no new cases have been reported.

County authorities were informed by the the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention three weeks ago of several cases of the disease among people who had traveled to Orange County in September.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and this station. They were turned on November 5th, but were taken out of service again on November 7th and will remain off until tests verify they are free from Legionella contamination. Outbreaks are often traced to hot tubs, decorative fountains, cooling towers and large air-conditioning systems that emit water vapor into the air.

The illness can not be spread by person to person contact.

Orange County has recorded more than 55 cases of the disease this year and the number of cases in the county has increased in recent years.

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