Disneyland shuts down water coolers following DEADLY disease outbreak

Adjust Comment Print

Eight of the twelve cases relate to persons visiting Disneyland, as well as someone who worked at the tourist destination.

The victims were aged between 52 and 94. One person "with additional health issues" died and was not among those who visited the theme park, the Times reported.

"We conducted a review and learned that two cooling towers had elevated levels of Legionella bacteria", the statement said.

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 Los Angeles Times reported that 12 cases of the bacteria-caused illness were discovered about three weeks ago among people who had visited the park in Anaheim, Calif.


Nine people contracted Legionnaires' disease after they visited Disneyland in Anaheim in September, officials said.

Legionnaire's Disease is a serious lung infection most often caused by inhaling microscopic water droplets tainted by the bacteria legionella. Disneyland was informed of the cases October 27, chemically treating and voluntarily shutting down two cooling towers to rid them of the Legionella bacteria, said Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chief Medical Officer Pamela Hymel. It is spread by mist from contaminated water. Those towers were chemically treated and shut down to eliminate further infection.

The towers are in a backstage area near the New Orleans Square Train Station, a Disneyland Resort spokesperson said. 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.

"There is no known ongoing risk associated with this outbreak", the agency said in a statement. It typically only afflicts those over the age of 50, or who have compromised immune systems or lung damage. The towers will reopen after it's confirmed they are no longer contaminated.

Comments