Disneyland shuts down 2 cooling towers after guests contract Legionnaires' disease

Posted November 13, 2017

Good said an investigation of Legionnaires cluster discovered that the 12 people sickened by the serious lung disease had travelled to, lived in, or worked in Anaheim during the month of September. One patient, who had not visited the park and had additional health issues, died, she said. Good's email statement didn't indicate if any of those who contracted the disease were related to each other.

This follows a report in late October when eight cases were being investigated. Soon after, an order was issued by the health agency requiring preventing Disney from reopening the towers before health officials verified that they were free from Legionella contamination.

Disney took the towers out of service again on Tuesday.

The two cooling towers are located in a backstage area behind the New Orleans Square train station area of the theme park.

According to the OCHCA, the Legionnaire's disease exposure period ranged from September 12 to September 27, Hymel said, adding that Disney thoroughly reviewed all regular water testing for the resort, "including work performed by contracted third-party experts", and "implemented additional redundant testing of other cooling towers on our property". Those towers were chemically treated and shut down to eliminate further infection. "We have proactively shared this information with OCHCA (Orange County Health Care Agency) and given our actions". The results of the tests will not be known for about two weeks.

"There is no known ongoing risk associated with this outbreak", the agency said in a statement.

"Legionnaires' disease is not contagious, can not be transmitted person to person, and comes from a bacteria that is naturally in the environment, usually in water", says Dr. Hymel. The age of the other patients range from 52 to 94, the Orange County Health Care Agency said Friday. "It can become a health concern if it grows and spreads in human-made water systems and then comes in contact with vulnerable persons who inhale small droplets of contaminated water".

Twelve people in the Anaheim region have been affected by the disease, including one who died.