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Disneyland Shuts Down Cooling Towers Over Legionaries Disease

Savanna Rose Bautista, Staff Writer

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Disneyland Park, originally Disneyland, is the first of two theme parks built at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, opened on July 17, 1955. It is the only theme park designed and built under the direct supervision of Walt Disney. The resort where dreams come true and also diseases.

The Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, recently shut down two of its cooling towers because of concerns about Legionnaire`s disease. Cooling towers are used to bring air and water together, to make the water cooler. Then, it can be used for things like refrigeration. Disneyland

has 18 of these towers and the park says it recently shut down, treated and disinfected two of them because elevated levels of Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s disease were found there.

However, the dangerous pathogen is hardly confined to theme parks. Office buildings and airports are highly susceptible to Legionnaires’, too. In fact, where you find cooling towers you may also find these bacteria.

Elizabeth Cohen, CNN Senior medical correspondent says, “It is not common to hear about Legionnaires disease, but it is indeed not a rare disease. Every year in the United States, between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires` disease. The bacteria that causes Legionnaires` disease, is natural. It`s naturally found in hot tubs, in decorative fountains, and in cooling towers. Cooling towers are part of the air condition system. So, if the bacteria gets into the towers, that means it can get into the air conditioning.”

Legionnaires` disease is not spread person to person. It`s spread through the air. When people come down with Legionnaires` disease, they start out just not feeling well.

Fox News says that a patient in Anaheim, but who did not go to the theme park contracted the disease and unfortunately died.

Victims of the disease will have symptoms that include a headache, aching muscles, and then followed by a high fever, sometimes as high as 104, 105 degrees. Most people who get this disease develop pneumonia. Most people recovered when they get Legionnaires` disease, but between 5 percent and 30 percent died. The people who are most likely to die from Legionnaires` disease are the elderly and people who have underlying medical problems.

Health officials say, in all, 12 have come down from the disease since visiting Anaheim. Since September, nine of them have been to the Disneyland theme park.

According to one website, Cooling towers and Legionnaires’ go way back. The first ever cases of Legionnaires’—and the source of the disease’s name—came after bacteria in the ventilation system infected people at an American Legion in Philadelphia, the New York Times reported. New York’s major 2015 outbreak was also traced back to a hotel’s cooling towers; that outbreak led to new city-wide maintenance regulations. Cooling towers may also have been responsible for an outbreak in Portugal that killed seven people in 2014.

A dozen cases of the bacterial lung infection were discovered about three weeks ago, the Orange County Health Care Agency said Friday. The patients, ranging in age from 52 to 94, lived or had spent time in Anaheim, and nine had visited Disneyland in September. One patient, who hadn’t visited the park, has died, the agency said.

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