Disneyland shuts down water cooling towers after cases of Legionnaires' disease
13 November, 2017, 00:54 | Author: Darrell Lopez
While many people have no symptoms, it can cause serious pneumonia and prove unsafe to those with lung or immune system problems.
"We conducted a review and learned that two cooling towers had elevated levels of Legionella bacteria", Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chief medical officer Dr. Pamela Hymel told the OC Register.
There are 10,000 to 18,000 cases in the United States each year.
Orange County has had more than 55 reported cases of Legionnaires' disease this year and the number of cases has increased in recent years both in the county and nationally, according to the health care agency. Disneyland was informed of the Anaheim cases on October 27 and after testing found that two cooling towers had elevated levels of Legionella bacteria. "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". In this photo, English-Irish boy band The Wanted performs "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" while taping the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade TV special at the Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Dec. 6, 2013. Those towers were chemically treated and shut down to eliminate further infection. Nine of those people had visited Disneyland in September before they developed the illness. Ten were hospitalized; one who did not visit the park died.
The two cooling towers are located in a backstage area behind the New Orleans Square train station area of the theme park. An employee working in the facility also got infected with the same disease.
Cooling towers provide cold water for various uses at Disneyland and give off a vapour or mist that could have carried the Legionella bacteria. The other nine are suffering from "additional health issues" at present.
Disney took the towers out of service again on Tuesday because the health agency required they remain down until test results verify they are free of Legionella contamination. The towers will reopen after it's confirmed they are no longer contaminated.
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