Legionnaires' disease outbreak at Disneyland sickens nine visitors

Legionnaires' disease outbreak at Disneyland sickens nine visitors

About a dozen people in the Anaheim, CA area, or visitors to the area in September were diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease, according to Orange County health officials.

The Orange County Health Agency said 12 cases of the bacteria-caused illness were found three weeks ago, and nine were people who visited the park in September, theLos Angeles Times reported. The age of the other patients range from 52 to 94, the Orange County Health Care Agency said Friday.

Symptoms develop 2 to 10 days after exposure, the OCHCA said, and include fever, chills, cough, muscle aches, and headaches.

The disease was detected in three more people who had not visited the theme park, but who either lived in or had travelled to Anaheim. "We conducted a review and learned that two cooling towers had elevated levels of Legionella bacteria". The towers were chemically treated to combat the problem, and there is no ongoing threat to guests' health, the Register reports. 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.

The disease is treatable, but roughly one in 10 people who contract the disease die from it, with people over 50 with weakened immune systems or chronic lung disease most at risk.

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.

Disneyland shut down two bacteria-contaminated cooling towers after the cases of the disease were reported. But in large concentrations, often due to stagnant or improperly sanitized water systems, the bacteria can be transmitted through inhaling contaminated water vapor. One of the 12, who had other health issues and did not visit Disneyland, died. Older people and those with health issues are particularly at risk.

Disney took the towers out of service again on Tuesday.

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