Published: Fri, November 17, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

3 more cases of Legionnaires' disease confirmed in Orange County

3 more cases of Legionnaires' disease confirmed in Orange County

The county issued an order on November 8 shutting down the two cooling towers at Disneyland.

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

People can get Legionnaires' disease when they breathe in small droplets of water in the air that contain the bacteria.

Three new cases of Legionnaires' disease have been identified in Southern California and officials are looking at the possibility there may be a source outside Disneyland, where at least 11 of the patients visited in September, according to reports.

Eleven out of the 15 cases involve people who visited Disneyland in September including one who worked there. All recent tests of the hotel's water systems showed low or no presence of the Legionella bacteria, and guests are not now at risk for infection, Cole confirmed.

That sparked an initial health investigation, and now officials say it has risen to seven confirmed cases.

"The entire Rio property is open and we have remediated all water sources". Those who are affected might experience symptoms including diarrhea, high fever, cough, chest pain and shortness of breath.

Acute bilateral pneumonia (legionnairesÕ disease caused by Legionella pneumophila), seen on a frontal chest x-ray. Good told the Orange County Register the agency is working with Disney on procedures to bring the towers back into operation.

Legionnaire's Disease has been on the uptick nationally in recent years, but this outbreak has been limited to Anaheim so far, MacDonald said.

Also, 13 out of the 15 patients were hospitalized and two, who had additional health issues, died.

According to the CDC, Legionella is a type of bacterium found naturally in freshwater environments.

"On October 27, 2017, when the Disneyland Park was identified as a common location of eight (8) cases, HCA contacted the Disney organization and set up site visits at the Park to assess potential sources".

However, both of the victims who died did not visit the iconic amusement park.

"It's too early to point fingers at Disneyland for those four people", said Sanjay Mohanty, a UCLA environmental engineering professor who studies water systems.

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