Disneyland shuts down cooling towers after Legionnaires' outbreak

Legionnaires' Disease Found Among Disneyland Visitors

Disneyland shut down two water cooling towers after health officials discovered several cases of Legionnaire's disease among people who visited the popular California theme park, authorities said.

After the Orange County Health Care Agency reported an increase of Legionnaires' cases in Anaheim, the park investigated and found two towers had "had elevated levels of Legionella bacteria". Those who were afflicted ranged in age from 52 to 94.

Please adhere to our commenting policy to avoid being banned. Ten of the 12 were hospitalized and one person with additional health issues died.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chief Medical Officer Pamela Hymel said Disney conducted more tests on all of their water towers.

Disneyland officials said they have worked with the county health care agency and treated the towers with chemicals that destroy the bacteria.

The health agency told The AP that no new cases have been reported.

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This decision has come as a result of rising air pollution in Delhi, and an attempt to reduce vehicular pollution in the city. United Airlines has asked its customers who plan to travel from 9 to 13 November to book their tickets before November 18.

"Legionnaires' disease is a severe, often lethal, form of pneumonia", according to Legionella.org.

The county agency issued an order November 8 requiring Disney to take the towers out of service until they are shown to be free from contamination. Eight were visitors who stayed in Anaheim between September 12 and September 27, one was employed there, two were residents of the city, and one lived in another county but worked in Anaheim.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Legionella is a type of bacterium found naturally in freshwater environments.

According to a LA Times report, Disney reported on November 3 that routine testing had detected elevated levels of Legionella in two cooling towers a month earlier, and the towers had been disinfected. The company said the towers, located in a space more than 100 feet from areas accessible to guests, were disinfected and were returned to service Sunday.

Cooling towers are evaporative systems that provide cooled water for various uses such as refrigeration but not for drinking water. It typically strikes the elderly and people with compromised immune systems, and can be fatal, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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