Legionella Outbreak, Disneyland Park Anaheim: November 7 Update

The Story:

Disneyland Park in Anaheim, CA, has once again shut down two of its cooling towers after nine guests and employees took ill. An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease is believed to be the cause of illness, according to Orange County health officials on Saturday. This is the second shutdown of the cooling towers, which were earlier disinfected and tested.

Important Because:

Legionnaires’ disease is a pneumonia-like disease caused by the Legionella bacterium that is more severe than pneumonia but not contagious, and is spread via drinking water.

  • It is spread when the bacteria is present in droplets of water, or mist, and are inhaled.

  • People with health issues, as well as older people, are at greater risk of serious illness or fatality.

  • Symptoms typically appear within 2 to 10 days after exposure to the bacterium, and include fever, chills, cough, muscle aches and headaches.

This Happened:

One death was recorded in Anaheim, according to Jessica Good, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Health Care Agency, but the patient had not been to Disneyland.

A total of 12 cases have been recorded, of which nine had visited the Anaheim theme park in September of this year.

Earlier this month Disneyland Park informed health authorities that high levels of the bacterium Legionella had been found in two of its 18 cooling towers. They were disinfected and tested.

The towers were taken out of service on November 1, and brought back into service on November 5 after additional disinfection and testing.

As of November 7, the two cooling towers have been taken out of service once again.


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