Another outbreak at Disneyland: Legionnaire’s disease infections tied to contaminated water coolers

Monday, November 13, 2017 by

Theme park Disneyland has been forced to shut down a pair of cooling towers that were contaminated with bacteria, after health officials from Orange County discovered an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in people who had visited the Anaheim-based park.

Officials said that at least 12 cases of the illness, which is caused by bacteria, were found in visitors to the park about three weeks ago. They included nine persons who visited Disneyland in September before they developed symptoms of Legionnaire’s, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, victims’ ages ranged from 52 to 94.

The three other victims were residents of Orange County, who had not visited Disneyland but either lived in or traveled to Anaheim.

The Times reported that 10 victims had to be hospitalized; one person “with additional health issues” did not survive the infection, health officials said. That person, they added, had not visited Disneyland.

The Times reported further:

Legionnaires’ is a severe lung infection caused by exposure to contaminated water or mist. Authorities said they have not tied any other cases of Legionnaires’ to Anaheim since September.

“There is no known ongoing risk associated with this outbreak,” the Orange County Health Care Agency said in a statement to the press.

The two towers suspected of spreading the disease are located in a backstage area near the New Orleans Square Train Station. Each of them are more than 100 feet from locations that are accessible to visitors, said a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman.

But one Disneyland employee also became ill with Legionnaire’s.

“On Oct. 27, we learned from the Orange County Health Care Agency of increased Legionnaires’ disease cases in Anaheim. We conducted a review and learned that two cooling towers had elevated levels of Legionella bacteria,” said Dr. Pamela Hymel, chief medical officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “These towers were treated with chemicals that destroy the bacteria and are currently shut down.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told county officials some three weeks ago that the agency had identified several cases of Legionnaire’s among people who visited Orange County two months ago.

County epidemiologists discovered that a cluster of people diagnosed with the disease had recently visited, lived or worked in Anaheim, and contacted Disney after learning that several of them had gone to the theme park.

The health agency said that Disney officials reported on Nov. 3 that regular testing of the cooling towers had uncovered levels of Legionella in October. The towers were reportedly disinfected at that time, officials added. Disney then took the towers out of service Nov. 1 and tested them once more. They were brought back into service Nov. 5.

Health experts say it takes anywhere from two to 10 days for Legionnaire’s disease to manifest and symptoms to appear.

As long-time Natural News readers know, Disneyland was the center of another outbreak controversy in early 2015, following a measles outbreak that wound up having huge implications for health freedom.

Lawmakers in the far-Left state of California used the measles outbreak as an excuse to push for universal vaccination for all children, even if parents objected over personal or religious beliefs. (Related: Afraid of the Disneyland measles outbreak? Don’t be fooled by Mickey Mouse science.)

We reported at the time:

Scare reports continue to spill across the web about the Disneyland measles outbreak, urging the public to get vaccinated immediately in order to make it all go away. But this latest psy-op is just another lame attempt to push vaccinations, this time with Mickey Mouse science as backing.

The scare tactics likely worked; in the summer of that year, the California legislature passed a mandatory vaccination bill, and Gov. Jerry Brown signed it in June of that year.

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