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Disneyland cooling tower likely source of Legionnaires’ disease



LOS ANGELES –

A cooling tower that provides the fog to make Disneyland visitors comfortable was the probable source of 22 cases in a legionnaire's epidemic last year near the theme park, a health official witnessed this week.

Most of those who got sick visited the park in the fall of 2017. Disneyland denied that it was the source, pointing to three infected people who had been in the city of Anaheim, where Disneyland is located, but not in the park itself. One of them died.

Dr. Matthew Zahn of the Orange County health care agency testified Tuesday before an appellate court judge at the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is investigating the case.

Zahn said the epidemic tests showed high levels of legionella bacteria in two Disneyland cooling towers, which are part of an air conditioning system that releases fog, Los reported Angeles Times. He said that the contaminated droplets are likely to spread to people in the park and beyond.

Disneyland is appealing for state fines, saying the source of the epidemic was not scientifically determined.

Upon questioning, Zahn said he could not be 1

00% sure that Disneyland was the source without further testing.

The disease is caused by bacteria that can grow in water systems created by humans. People can develop pneumonia after breathing contaminated steam.

A girl who was diagnosed with legionnaires after visiting Disneyland last fall filed a lawsuit against the theme park.

"The facts do not support these statements and the lawsuit has no value," Suzi Brown spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Times reports were used in this article.


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