It appears that the Disneyland Resort may be tied to an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in Orange County.On Oct. 27, 2017, the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) notified local medical professionals of increased cases of Legionnaires’ disease in the Anaheim area. After this, the Disneyland Resort reviewed their water quality testing data, including testing performed by our third-party water quality maintenance contractor, and learned that two cooling towers had elevated levels of Legionella bacteria. These towers were treated with chemicals that destroy the bacteria and are currently shut down to further eliminate any ongoing concern. Disneyland then shared this information with OCHCA and have indicated there is no longer any known risk associated with the cooling towers.
Legionnaires’ disease is not contagious, cannot be transmitted person to person, and comes from a bacteria that is naturally in the environment, usually in water. It can become a health concern if it grows and spreads in human-made water systems and then comes in contact with vulnerable persons who inhale small droplets of contaminated water. Most people who are exposed to the bacteria do not become ill. Those at risk include people who are immunocompromised, those with chronic lung disease and the elderly. Legionnaires’ disease can have symptoms similar to pneumonia. Symptoms can include a high fever, chills, and a cough.
Of the 12 people in Orange County that contracted the disease, 10 were hospitalized and one passed away. The individual that died had no connection to the Disneyland Resort.