Disneyland disease outbreak

Disneyland California

According to various news sources, a cooling tower at Disneyland has been identified as the likely source of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that occurred near the theme park in California, US, last year.  A total of 22 cases of the disease have been reported in the park.

Legionnaires' disease is a lung infection that can be caught by inhaling droplets of water contaminated by the Legionella bacteria. Signs and symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, high fever, muscle pains, and headaches.

Dr Matthew Zahn, Orange County Health Care Agency, testified on 4 December before an appeals board judge at the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration and, according to the Los Angeles Times, saying that tests around the time of the outbreak showed high levels of Legionella bacteria in two Disneyland cooling towers and that contaminated droplets were likely spread to people in the park and beyond.

Earlier this year, a spokesperson for Disneyland, Suzi Brown, said in a statement: “We strongly object to Cal-OSHA's allegation that our cooling towers caused any illness, since the source of the outbreak has never been scientifically determined.” Disneyland is appealing state fines.