Disneyland shuts down cooling towers after park visitors sickened with disease

Visitors ride the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride at Disneyland in Anaheim Calif. in 2015

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.

The disease was detected in three more people who had not visited the theme park, but who either lived in or had travelled to Anaheim.

No other cases of the disease have been reported since September.

The Orange County Health Care Agency said 12 people aged 52 to 94 contracted the disease.

"On October 27, 2017, when the Disneyland Park was identified as a common location of eight (8) cases, HCA contacted the Disney organization and set up site visits at the Park to assess potential sources".

Nine of the 12 reportedly visited Disneyland in September reported the Associated Press (h/t ABC 7 News.) One person, "with additional health issues", who did not visit the park has died from the disease. Disney independently made a decision to take the towers out of operation the day before, Good said.

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Disneyland shut down two bacteria-contaminated cooling towers after the cases of the disease were reported.

The towers were taken out of service November 1, disinfected, went back in operation on November 5 but were shut down again Tuesday and will remain offline until tests confirm they are free from contamination, according to the park and the county health agency. The towers were chemically treated to combat the problem, and there is no ongoing threat to guests' health, the Register reports. "We have proactively shared this information with OCHCA (Orange County Health Care Agency) and given our actions".

The disease is caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila, found in both potable and nonpotable water systems.

Legionnaires' is a airborne disease which causes a form of pneumonia especially unsafe to people 50 years or older.

People who have contracted Legionnaire's disease are not contagious. But in large concentrations, often due to stagnant or improperly sanitized water systems, the bacteria can be transmitted through inhaling contaminated water vapor.

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