Disneyland shuts down 2 cooling towers after Legionnaires' disease sickens park visitors

Visitors ride the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride at Disneyland in Anaheim Calif. in 2015

Disneyland has shut down two cooling towers after people who visited the Anaheim theme park came down with Legionnaires' disease.

Crowds fill rafts to Tom Sawyer Island with New Orleans Square in the background sometime in 2015. Those who were afflicted ranged in age from 52 to 94. Ten of the 11 ill were hospitalized, and one person died. According to health officials, the person who died in connection to the Disneyland outbreak had additional health issues.

Although the Health Care Agency sent alerts to medical providers and other public health departments to help identify other people who have contracted Legionnaire's disease, the agency issued no public press releases or statements because "there was no known, ongoing risk associated with this event", Good said. Of that total, nine had visited the park in September, and the remainder lived or traveled in Anaheim.

According to the health agency, on November 3 Disney reported that routine testing detected elevated levels of Legionella pneumophila in two cooling towers a month earlier, and the towers had been disinfected.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and this station.

Legionnaires' disease is a severe lung infection caused by exposure to contaminated water or mist. The county contacted Disney after it discovered several had gone to the park.

Disneyland discovered the contamination last month and has taken the towers out of service for disinfection.

OCHCA said the Legionnaires' disease exposure period in Anaheim was September 12-27.

The county agency issued an order November 8 requiring Disney to take the towers out of service until they are shown to be free from contamination.

Legionnaires' disease is a progressive pneumonia with a 2-10 day incubation period. That outbreak, which sickened 182 and resulted in 29 deaths, was traced to the convention hotel's air conditioning system. Legionnaires' disease is not spread person to person. It typically strikes the elderly and people with compromised immune systems, and can be fatal, according to the Mayo Clinic. A similar upward trend has been seen nationally and elsewhere in Southern California, according to the health care agency, though what's causing that is unclear.