Visitors to Disneyland California hit by Legionnaires disease

JAN. 22 2015 FILE

Health officials said 10 people were hospitalized, and one person "with additional health issues" died but was not among those who visited Disneyland. Good's email statement didn't indicate if any of those who contracted the disease were related to each other.

One of the patients is understood to be an employee of the the resort, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Disney took the towers out of service again on Tuesday because the health agency required they remain down until test results verify they are free of Legionella contamination. Disney independently made a decision to take the towers out of operation the day before, Good said.

The towers are in a backstage area near the New Orleans Square Train Station, a Disneyland Resort spokesperson said.

Legionnaires' disease is essentially an extremely unsafe form of pneumonia caused by inhaling the freshwater Legionella bacteria, which thrives in water systems like cooling towers, fountains, and hot tubs or pools that are not treated, per the Centres for Disease Control. The towers were chemically treated to combat the problem, and there is no ongoing threat to guests' health, the Register reports. "We have proactively shared this information with OCHCA (Orange County Health Care Agency) and given our actions".

Authorities said that visitors are no longer at risk of contracting the disease - a severe lung infection caused by exposure to contaminated water or mist.

The Orange County Health Care Agency said 12 people aged 52 to 94 contracted the disease.

The bacteria commonly is found in water systems and poses no threat to humans at low levels.

Most cases of the infection start when people inhale microscopic water droplets containing legionella bacteria. Eight of the twelve cases relate to persons visiting Disneyland, as well as someone who worked at the tourist destination.

There have been 55 reports of Legionella disease in Orange County residents through October of 2017; 53 were reported for the entire year of 2016; and 33 in 2015, according to Good.

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