Disneyland shuts down facilities after rare potentially deadly disease strikes nine park visitors

Disneyland has shut down two cooling towers in response to a number of visitors to the Anaheim, California, theme park coming down with Legionnaires’ disease.

Out of a dozen cases of the bacterial lung infection recently discovered, nine of those cases involved had visited Disneyland, according to KABC-TV.

The cooling towers involved are not in public areas — the evaporative systems provide cooled water for various uses such as refrigeration but not for drinking water, the ABC affiliate reported.

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Dr. Pamela Hymel, chief medical officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said in a statement that Disneyland learned about the Legionnaires’ cases on Oct. 27.

“We conducted a review and learned that two cooling towers had elevated levels of Legionella bacteria,” Hymel said in the release. “These towers were treated with chemicals that destroy the bacteria and are currently shut down. We have proactively shared this information with OCHCA and given our actions, they have indicated there is no longer any known risk associated with our facilities.”

There has been one death — the person had not visited the theme park. The age of the other patients range from 52 to 94, the Orange County Health Care Agency said Friday.

Legionnaires’ disease appear to be on the rise, with Orange County reporting more than 55 cases this year.

Tom Tillison


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